In Memoriam December 15, 2002 In Memoriam In Memoriam Duane Anderson, Miami Admitted 1951; Died January 1, 2002 Melvin J. Asher, Miami Admitted 1973; Died December 11, 2001 Samuel Luther Bare III, Miami Admitted 1965; Died September 18, 2001 Gerald Lee Bedford, Miami Beach Admitted 1965; Died February 15, 2002 Monte J. Tillis, Jr., Bartow Admitted 1949; Died February 13, 2002 Monte J. Tillis, Jr., Bartow Admitted 1949; Died February 13, 2002 James Alexander Tucker, Ocala Admitted 1985; Died July 31, 2002 Philip T. Weinstein, Miami Admitted 1953; Died May 22, 2002 Alan R. Williams, St. Petersburg Admitted 1960; Died May 6, 2002
Eleven minutes.That’s how close the women’s soccer team was to pulling off a minor miracle last Friday night.The Women of Troy were facing off against crosstown rival UCLA and came into the match as heavy underdogs. USC is a relatively young team with a first-year head coach in Keidane McAlpine, and the Bruins came into the matchup as the undefeated defending national champions. It was the final game of the regular season, and with the football team on a bye week, the rivalry was played out in front of about 10,000 fans under the stadium lights of the Coliseum.Just short · Sophomore Kayla Mills (18) and the women’s soccer team fell short in their upset bid of No. 1 UCLA last Friday night. USC’s women’s volleyball team will now try its hand at upsetting top-ranked Stanford tonight. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanThe Bruins controlled possession for most of the game and had numerous opportunities to break through, but the USC defense held tight for all of the first half and most of the second half. But the Women of Troy couldn’t hold on for a full 90 minutes as UCLA found the back of the net in the 79th minute. The Bruins added a second goal in the 87th minute to seal a 2-0 victory.The defeat brings up some bad memories from other sporting events in the same venue this year. It also gives me somewhat of a bad feeling as the women’s volleyball team goes into a very similar challenge tonight against Stanford.But I’ll stick by my assessment that fans should be proud, not disappointed, by the soccer team’s performance. Likewise, though my expectations might not be high, I absolutely plan on seeing the volleyball team play tonight in the Galen Center because the Women of Troy’s match is sure to be exciting regardless of the outcome.If you didn’t see the soccer game Friday, you’ve probably seen at least one similar result on a Saturday. The USC football team has had two of those kinds of losses in conference play, first against Arizona State and then against Utah, where a Pac-12 rival just barely snuck past the Trojan defense to steal a victory at the end of the game. Not only was the soccer team’s result very similar to those of the football team, but the game plan and general style of play was as well.The soccer team by all means played a very conservative game against UCLA. It seemed like the Women of Troy played the entire game with only one forward positioned relatively high on the field and five midfielders positioned relatively low alongside the four defenders. Almost every soccer team plays with four defenders, but teams will commonly play with two or three forwards instead of having so many players in the midfield.Not only did USC drop nine of 10 field players into defense when the Bruins had the ball, but the Women of Troy looked equally cautious with the ball. McAlpine didn’t just concede that the Women of Troy weren’t going to score barring a major defensive blunder from UCLA, but it didn’t even look like USC was trying to keep possession. An old sports adage is that the best defense is a good offense, and maintaining possession for an extended period of time prevents an opponent from scoring during that time. But the Women of Troy thought the best strategy on defense was to “park the team bus in front of the goal,” as the saying goes in soccer, instead of trying to keep the ball away from the Bruins. Though the Bruin outside defenders were very involved on offense and pressed forward when UCLA had the ball, USC almost always kept all four defenders behind midfield. Instead of supporting the ballcarrier while USC had possession, the outside defenders helped protect against an uneven attack the other way.Yes, it was frustrating seeing the game plan fail so close to the finish line. But as I’ve consistently said when looking at the football team, playing conservatively is not inherently flawed. There are reasons why teams do it, and there are situations as well as opponents in which it really makes sense.The simplest and most accurate explanation for why the soccer team lost to UCLA is that UCLA was the better team. The Bruins were not only faster, but also better ball handlers. There’s very little the Women of Troy could have done against such a task.If opponents have much more speed, it’s almost impossible to beat them with aggressive, quick-strike counterattacks — in fact, those just leave you vulnerable to their counterattacks in return. But if a team also has much better ball control, it’s very hard to keep possession for large chunks of time. Bringing outside defenders forward to support possession on offense just opens up the opportunity for more counterattacks. It’s obviously much easier to defend a team with nine defenders in a tight space than with just your two center defenders in an open field.After watching the soccer game Friday, I’m particularly cautious about any optimism going into the women’s volleyball game today because it’s particularly hard to engineer an upset in that sport. Unlike in soccer, volleyball teams can’t just sit back and hopefully wait to capitalize on one big mistake. UCLA ultimately avoided any major errors, but one bad turnover midway through the second half could have been enough for USC to take the lead and change the dynamic of a game. In volleyball, you need more than one mistake and one point to steal a match. You need at least 25 points just to win one set, and it takes three sets to claim a match. One big point certainly can be the difference between a win and a loss in volleyball, but it can’t wash away an otherwise completely dominant performance like it can in soccer.But I wouldn’t say the volleyball team is severely outmatched going into the Stanford matchup. Yes, the Cardinal are undefeated on the season and ranked as the No. 1 team in the country, but the Women of Troy actually took a set of Stanford in a 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 defeat earlier this season in Palo Alto.Despite the disappointing result at the Coliseum Friday, it was a tremendously exciting fan atmosphere to be a part of and totally worth the trip. Not only was the record-breaking turnout — mostly local youth soccer league players and their parents, along with a fair number of students — exciting to experience, but the game itself was fantastic. The Women of Troy didn’t have a ton of scoring chances but they fought valiantly with their backs against the wall all game. I left the Coliseum proud to call those student-athletes my classmates.I’m equally excited about catching the volleyball game tonight. I’m hopeful for a classic upset, but there’s also something inherently awesome about watching USC athletes representing our school.I won’t go as far as predicting an upset like I did before USC’s trip to Washington this year — the team lost to the Huskies in straight sets. But I urge anyone reading this to join me at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center.Maybe all the Women of Troy need to engineer an upset is some good ole home-court advantage.Luke Holthouse is a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism and policy, planning and development. His column, “Holthouse Party,” runs Wednesdays.
COMMENT Birmingham Bowl: No. 23 Cincinnati (10-3) vs. Boston College (6-6) in Birmingham, Alabama, Thursday at 3 p.m. EST (ESPN).Line: Cincinnati by 7-1/2.Series record: Boston College leads 4-3.WHAT’S AT STAKE: Cincinnati is looking to finish up ranked in the Top 25 and have a second straight season with 11 wins. Boston College wants to secure a winning record and its first bowl win since 2016, while being led by interim coach Rich Gunnell.KEY MATCHUPCincinnati and the AAC’s top scoring defense against an offense averaging 451 yards and 30.9 points per game. The Bearcats are allowing an average of 21.7 points.PLAYERS TO WATCHCincinnati: QB Desmond Ridder is a double threat. He has passed for 2,069 yards and 17 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He also has run for 570 yards and two scores.Boston College: RB David Bailey replaces Boston College’s all-time leading rusher A.J. Dillon, who is skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. The 240-pound Bailey ran for 181 yards against North Carolina State and 172 versus Syracuse, rushing for a pair of touchdowns in each game.FACTS & FIGURESIt’s the first time since 2009 that the Bearcats were ranked in the final regular season poll. … Cincinnati has two transfers who are eligible to play after completing the NCAA’s mandated one year in residence: offensive lineman James Hudson (Michigan) and safety Bryan Cook (Howard). … Boston College’s last bowl win was 36-30 over Maryland in the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. The First Responder Bowl in Dallas last year was cancelled due to the weather in the first quarter last season. … The Eagles fired Steve Addazio after seven seasons on Dec. 1. SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Written By LIVE TV Last Updated: 2nd January, 2020 11:20 IST Cincinnati And Boston College Set For Birmingham Bowl Cincinnati is looking to finish up ranked in the Top 25 and have a second straight season with 11 wins. Boston College wants to secure a winning record and its first bowl win since 2016, while being led by interim coach Rich Gunnell. Associated Press Television News FOLLOW US First Published: 2nd January, 2020 11:20 IST