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2012 UNC Tarheels

Discussion in 'Women's College' started by Soccerhunter, Nov 24, 2011.

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  1. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Yea, I know that the 2011 season is not yet finished for 8 other teams, but I am looking forward to the 2012 Tarheel season!

    I expect it to be a good one. The incoming talent is substantial, and if the key talent from 2011 is ready to go, we should have an excellent season.

    There are, of course, some realistic problems which will have to be solved. One is that it seems to take about half (or more) of the season to get the line-up pretty well stabilized and to start working well together. Another is to get a good season going without serious injuries. Another is to get the ACC (and other signs of parity) lined up psychologically so as to continue to play well should a loss occur.

    Here's a cut at a line up with potential alternates who could end up starting (not necessarily subs.) Roughly in the order that I see strength, not by L,C, or R position.) I am postulating as starters: 3 seniors, 3 juniors, 2 sophomores, and 3 frosh. (I know Parker has been a forward, but given Ohai, Rich, and Horan, if she starts it may have to be at right mid. Wood could realistically play forward or in the back, given her history.)

    Keeper: Haeberlin, (Daly, Sieloff, Harris)

    Backs: Brigman, Morris, Ball, (Linquist, Murray, Ramirez)

    Midfield: Brooks, Dunn, Nigro, Parker (Lubrano, Anania, Elby, McFarlane, Premji, Bruce)

    Strikers: Horan, Ohai, Rich, (Burchenal, Cowie, Wood, Grey)

    This list presupposes for the moment that Ohai, Lubrano, Wood, and Burchenal will be back, that no further announced 2012 recruits will de-commit, and that no additional new recruits will show up who have a realistic chance of playing in 2012 (although there may be a transfer in or a foreign player who could change things.) Also, as in 2011, there may be some 2012 recruits that come on strong and surprise!

    Other thinking about 2012?
     


  2. OMG1

    OMG1 Member

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    I recently looked at all the other ACC teams and their recruits for 2012 and have found that nearly all the ACC schools also have very good recruiting classes and several have sleepers on their recruiting lists. FSU, Virginia, and Wake Forest in particular will continue to advance. UNC will have the strongest of the GK's coming in 2012.
     
  3. fanosoccer

    fanosoccer Member

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Regarding GKs for next year, I have not seen Haeberlin play, but I assume she is good since she is on the national U18 team. Will she miss games next year if she is on the national team? I have seen Harris play and she is an incredible athlete, makes saves no one else could even think about making, and I think will be someone who will come in and impress.
     
  4. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Strong goal keeping will certainly be one element of our success next year. Haeberlin is reputed to be very strong... probably the top keeper coming to the college ranks in a few years. -And yes, I expect her to be playing for the U-20s during the season.

    Daly has been coming on stronger too. She made great strides from her freshmen year to her sophomore year. She commands the box much better and her kicking game is vastly improved.

    With her injuries, Sieloff simply has not progressed much... but she's not a slouch for a keeper by any means.

    I just don't know about Harris. She advanced as far as a Texas state ODP pool player, but was not on a game roster. Perhaps she is an underrated keeper that will surprise us all?
     


  5. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Sep 12, 2009
    So on to the 2012 defense.

    It will be a year of experimentation and taking good looks at players, but let's hope that the right combination gets nailed down by mid season and gets plenty of time working as a unit from then on in. As we all know, it is absolutely critical that a defense plays as a unit and gets to know each others moves and habits. At this level and certainly playing in the ACC a single brain fart or miscommunication will often cost your team the game.

    I see Brigman as the only settled player. She has developed superbly over the last several years since her conversion from a forward. She'll play in the middle or on the right. Her speed and steadiness serve her well, and she has greatly improved her decision making.

    It would seem that Meg Morris would be the another settled back for the Tarheels, but she just might be more valuable to the team at right mid if she can be spared in the back. But for now, I see her as slotted at left back.

    Assuming for the moment that AD goes back to his 3 back system, it is the third back that is wide open in my mind. I look to Caroline Lindquist as the catalyst to solve the problem. If she comes on strong (and is looked at as a defender) she will either capture the third slot or force one of the other candidates to step up. It could be Ramirez if she looses the tentativeness and takes charge. It could be Murray if she can improve technically and wrap her head around making good decisions. Or Ball could continue her improbable rise. She has the soccer smarts and if she improves her speed and advances technically, she could handle the job.

    If AD goes to a 4 back system (and sticks with it) I see Murray and Morris on the outsides with Brigman in the middle along with the survivor of a Ball-Lindquist-Ramirez competition.

    What say others? Wood? Anyone else?
     
  6. richmondD15

    richmondD15 Member

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    --other--
    I don't know if Wood has the speed to be in the defensive line. Last year, she was working her tail off but just didn't have the speed that a UNC defender needs, especially in a three-back. She might be better in a four-back as a central defender along with Brigman, but I thought that the best she played at UNC was coming off the bench as a central midfielder in 2008 (although that was before she was ill). Brooks effectively took that spot from her while Wood was sick in 09, but I think that Wood might be an option as attacking midfielder, especially if Anson wants to win more 50/50 balls. Maybe move Premji over to right mid since she's so right-foot oriented. That would let Premji run up the sidelines and set up crosses (She was a solid corner kick taker at the end of the season)
     
  7. im4womenssoccer

    im4womenssoccer New Member

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    Given the mix of tallented, returning players, and a strong group of incoming players, where do you think Crystal Dunn will end up playing? She has the ability to play extremely well anywhere on the field, but I wonder where she could make the greatest impact.
     
  8. soccershins

    soccershins Member

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    Heaberlin is a force in goal, reason some rank her the #1 2012 prospect
     
  9. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    Lindquist by far. Everyone else will be also rans. Besides the incoming frosh you have listed look for half a dozen more to fill our depleted and rapidly depleting ranks. There is a perception, rightly or wrongly, that the sheer number of non accolade players starting has caused our demise. Look for AD to fill every starting spot going forward with heavily recruited players.
     
  10. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    Center forward. And leave her there.
     
  11. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Sep 12, 2009
    OK. We seem to have gotten all of the comments we're going to get on the 2012 defense with the players we know about.

    On to the 2012 midfield prospects.

    My personal choices would be Brooks at holding mid, Dunn at attacking mid, and Nigro and Parker left and right. But that is assuming a heck of a lot for two yet unseen (by me) players! ...And I continue to be intrigued by foootie's above comment that the 2012 class will be supplemented by unknown strong players (which as far as I can see will have to be transfers, de-commits, or foreign players given that the known 2012 class is essentially all spoken for.)

    Although I have expressed admiration for Premji in past posts for what she does well and for her effort, I do think that a more dynamic attacking mid is necessary if we are to increase our offensive output. Dunn has the scoring and passing chops to do the job and her first touch is excellent. Dunn's only drawback is, like Premji, her height. AD has commented that Dunn was recruited for the left mid position and she would be excellent there (and may end up there after all) but of the current visible choices on the horizon, I'd have to put her in the middle.

    The wing halves are the enigma. We fans would, of course, like the speed and great technical ability of Dunn, but I would hope that Nigro and Parker also have those characteristics. (Certainly Parker is credited with being speedy.) McFarlane is a hustler can have her good moments, but tends to be without focus from time to time and could help herself alot if she could improve technically. Lubrano (will she graduate instead?) has looked good in spurts and potentially could rise to the occasion, although she is not particularly fast. I just do not know anything about Anania and Bruce. Elby could get a good look at a wing half IMO, but while steady and a hard worker and a credit to the team who does most everything well, she is not the outstanding talent we fans might wish for.

    [[ Let me say that any observations I may make about Tarheel players in my role as a fan in no way implies that they are not potentially qualified to start or to contribute to the UNC tradition. Further, from what I can see (from a distance), all of these young women seem to be friendly and nice people who are certainly trying their best on the field and are absolutely admirable. I appreciate their presence and contributions as team members. ]]

    Other comments on the 2012 midfield?
     
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  12. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    The exodus has begun.

    Apparently Rachel Wood is transferring.
     
  13. worthyofbeing1

    worthyofbeing1 Member

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    Oct 23, 2011
    Your blaming Anson for this? Girl has medical problems.

    She couldnt play last year because of it.
     
  14. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Sep 12, 2009
    That's too bad. I have very positive feelings about her.. her work ethic, her courage and discipline with regard to her illness, and from Bartok's videos, a really nice young woman to boot.

    But I can see why she'd want to move on. She has only one year of eligibility remaining, and given how things are shaping up for this next year, it is hard to see a spot where she could contribute in a significant manner. As has been discussed above, it doesn't look like defense will be her home (even tough she stepped up in a time of need in 2010 and gave it her all and center back), and the midfield will be looking for highly technical players. And our offense for next year already has Rich and Ohai and will involve 2 more highly regarded forwards.

    Surely there are excellent teams out there on which she could start and could finish out her college career in fine style. I sure hope she lands on one. (And I trust that AD will be helping in this process.)
     
  15. UNC4EVER

    UNC4EVER Member

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    In 2011, Dunn was played as the "pressure dressing" on whatever wound seemed to be bleeding most profusely. One (among several) of my complaints. Hopefully the team will be stronger and more cohesive in 2012, and AD won't repeat that tactic (as it didn't work anyway...). Dunn was recruited as a wide midfielder, and while she has demonstrated that she can play every position on the field with competence and flair, I deeply hope she will end up doing the job AD recruited her for. She would be brilliant there! Brooks is on track for a look at the WNT; I'm just guessing she will be our holding mid? My head will spin round on my shoulders in complete disbelief if Premji is not our ACM. Dorrance showed No curiousity in Spring 2011 to explore other players in that role. He seems to feel her stamina qualifies her to play ~ 90, and her productivity qualifies her to start. She is a rising senior; she has received as much public praise from AD as any other member of the team over the last two seasons; and her stats for the (admittedly disappointing) 2011 season are among the higher point counts for the squad. The only reason to think she would not be our starter is wishful thinking from those who wish she would not start (;)). She is a controversial player, and I think will remain so. Not my first choice, but I have long since exhausted my energy on this topic (and probably everyone else's patience as well). I find it hard to imagine she won't start and play ~60 to 90 as a senior. Assuming Dunn "goes home" to midfield, that leaves one or two more midfielders. Given our current roster and likely starters, I think we would be well-served playing five midfielders next year, but I give strong odds that we will not. Dorrance has never liked a 3-5-2 as an attacking formation, and I doubt he is going to have some off-season transformation. My guess is that we will (unfortunately) play out of either our traditional 3-4-3 or a "French" 4-4-2, or some bedraggled and confused mix of the two :confused:. So assuming a four player midfield, I Like Elby. If she can continue to grow as a player, and if she is given a settled role to fulfill, rather than shifting back and forth between the midfield and the back, I think she could be a very satisfactory winger. She may not rise to be the mirror of Dunn, but UNC has won (and still can win) National Championships with weaker flankers. If Elby gets the start out wide, she will not (IMO) be a weak link in next year's team. There may be some exciting new talent coming in as well? That will be interesting to see.
     
  16. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    FC Barcelona
    Where in the world did you see me blame AD for this??

    I know perfectly well that she has medical issues.



    I agree! She is a very classy young lady and courageous does not even begin to describe this player. It is a loss for us and a huge gain for whatever team she transfers to
     
  17. Holmes

    Holmes New Member

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    Oct 24, 2010
    I'm sure she is a nice person, and I hope she finds happiness at some other program, but other than set pieces, her leaving isn't a loss.
     
  18. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    Believe me, on a team where chemistry is at an all time low, her cheery personality will be sadly missed. She is a quality player who has had to battle an insidious disease and has served us very well. She epitomizes what a Tarheel should be.

    Well done to her!
     
  19. Soccerhunter

    Soccerhunter Member

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    Sep 12, 2009
    For those who haven't seen it, check out the article on UNC/AD in Forbes. It's a re-hash of well known material from "The Man Watching" but also includes lots of input from Robin Confer.

    http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtm
     
  20. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    Dec 3, 2006
  21. UNC4EVER

    UNC4EVER Member

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    I make it a point to never gossip about who may be joining or leaving the Heels, or why.

    If players are leaving the team, I wish them well.

    I am well aware that I have been one of Dorrance's more obvious (loyal) critics over the last season or two. However, pettiness and arbitary power trips are not among his faults. If a UNC player feels their love of the game and player development would be better served at a different school, I have never known him to be an impediment.

    You can't do your best if you are not happy and committed. For those players who can't drink the Kool-Aid and be 100% enthusiastically committed to the vision of this squad, I think both they and the program are well served to explore their options, and if they think they have better choices, drive on! UNC has traditionally been very gracious in the way they accomodate departing players.

    Among the problems this team needs to address, we need to create a group of players who would walk on glass to play for one-another. That has been our history, and it is clear to see among some other top tier teams this year. We will not win big without that! Players who do not have that commitment, whatever their ability, will do themselves and the program a favor by moving to (hopefully) greener pastures. Given our current situation and chemistry, a certain amount of turnover is to be expected, and (IMO) is not a bad thing, or a sign of team implosion.

    I wish any players who may be leaving the very best of luck! Thanks for all you have done! Part of getting this team back onto track as among the finest in the country is to re-equilibrate its internal chemistry. No one should think that would not involve a few bumps.

    Go Heels!
     
  22. newfornow

    newfornow New Member

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    Agree! Footie4life must have some inside spy. The team chemistry is not bad just a few do not understand what it means to wear Carolina Blue and work for their fellow team mates. Personal stats do not win championships! But this team does not have the lowest chemistry ever. You can look at the after game events and videos. You can not hide bad chemistry within a whole team. There may be a few bad apples!
     
  23. NovNewbie

    NovNewbie New Member

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    Nov 20, 2011
    Agreed, I've said it before, this team had chemistry off the field. Individually, they're all great players but stats on paper don't win games and they just didn't click on the field.

    On another note, since Nigro, Anania and Thompson didn't play a single minute this season, could they have redshirted to preserve a year of eligibility?

    I've heard great things about Reilly Parker and SRV has always been a strong program. I live near the area so I may just have to go out and watch when they start up games again after winter break. Specifically the one against Carondelet since it will be a rematch to the NCS final last year in which Carondelet won in overtime.
     
  24. footie4life

    footie4life Member

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    Parker is another smaller midfielder/forward type of player so I am not sure where AD will choose to play her. Good speed and soccer smarts.

    Unfortunately Thompson burned a year of eligibility by playing a few minutes early on. Nigro and Anania did not play at all so they are defacto redshirts.
     
  25. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

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    If she played only a few minutes in the first half of the season, if I recall the rule correctly, she did not burn her red-shirt opportunity.
     
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