Open Game Thread: NCAA Women's Championship - USC versus Florida State

Don't know how much of this game I'll be able cover live, but USC is playing Florida State in College Station TX in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.

2.25 EST: about the 17th minute. USC's been playing well so far - good use of the long ball to keep FSU in their half. Rodriguez is doing well. However, FSU is incredibly fast on the counter-attack, which they are doing at the moment because USC is one player down. Sanduval was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle and has been getting treatment off the pitch.

2.26 EST: this commentary team is one of the worst I have EVER heard for soccer, and that's saying something in a world where ESPN allows Eric Wynalda on air.

2.30 EST: A bit more even now in terms of possession. FSU is trying to come up the center of the field and not getting much out of it - SC is well organized on defense, as advertised. SC's having some luck working the wings.

2.31 EST: Shit that was nearly ugly. SC's goalie got caught out of position and FSU was threatening to score - but a foul for a high kick against FSU and a quick recovery save the day.

2.35 EST: I suppose the A Rod to A Rod comparison was inevitable. Without wanting to be too patronizing, Amy Rodriguez is much better looking than the baseball player, for what that's worth, and she's a hell of a lot better on the counter.

2.35 EST: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL USC! An FSU defender managed to ricochet the ball off the crossbar, the FSU goalie botched the recovery, and Tomer scores for USC! 1 - 0!

2.37 EST - SC nearly scores again - cripes that was close. FSU would have been in real trouble if that had gone in.

2.41 EST - great save by the SC goalie - an FSU forward got behind the defense and Olsen got the ball off her feet. Nice work.

2.45 EST: game's getting a little more physical. SC needs to watch out here - FSU has players from Japan (Yamaguchi plays for the national team), Finland, and the Netherlands, and they are going to be well able to exploit 50-50 fouls.

2.47 EST: corner for USC, nothing comes of it.

2.49 EST: another lovely save by Olsen. SC needs to be less casual with possession in their own half - FSU's not shy about using the long ball.

2.49 EST: Yellow card on an SC player (Brown?) for a "hard tackle" - total crap; unlike Sanduval earlier, the FSU player didn't need treatment. Get a grip, ref.

Moving below the jump so I don't take up the whole page... forgot I was supposed to be doing this in the comments!

Update [2007-12-9 18:36:31 by Paragon SC]: Congrats Ladies!!! Way to play it! DC Trojan will be by later with a complete game wrap.

2.54 EST: bit of a wasted chance there - SC dispossessed Yamaguchi and got the ball into the 18 yard box, but nothing came of it.

2.57 EST: And that's the half. Yamaguchi closed out play by taking a shot at goal that would have landed in row ZZ in a real stadium.

USC looked really good for the half - even though their coach thinks they have a lot of work to do. They've done a good job of forcing FSU to come through the center of the field and hit the long ball - but FSU is really fast on the counter attack; there's no room for complacency. FSU looked a little discouraged at the end of the half, and frankly a little gassed as well. Apparently it's very humid and 80 in College Station, although you would think that would favor FSU... Second half...

3.15 EST: USC's starting out fairly aggressively, but here comes FSU - quick shot by DaCosta and Olsen gets a hand on it to give up the corner. Series of effort etc., but FSU is penalized for trying to bundle over Olsen.

3.19 EST: this ref's an idiot. Meanwhile, FSU definitely faster down the fight flank. They moved DaCosta forward and she's making a difference.

3.20 EST: USC gives up a free kick just outside the 18 yard box. Nice clearance by SC, FSU attacks again, SC counter-attacks and wins a corner...but nothing comes of it.

3.23 EST: A Rod takes on up to 3 FSU defenders, and wins a corner. Wasted shot, unfortunately, and FSU gets a throw near the half.

3.25 EST: Free kick, not bended like Beckham, another USC corner that comes to nothing. SC doing a good job of keeping FSU in their half of the field.

3.28 EST: FSU launches a very nice counter with Yamaguchi picking up a long ball down the left wing, but her cross is headed away by another FSU player. That was close - SC's defense was atypically out of position.

3.30 EST: FSU attacking more but SC is holding steady. FSU is trying to spread the SC defenders across the field with passing but the Trojans aren't biting.

And on that note, I have to bail for a previous social engagement. I'll be back on later to wrap things up - hopefully the Trojans will be able to hold their lead and finish out the game well. Fight On!

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