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hab
12-02-2015, 10:12 AM
I really believe it's time for Union to take a serious look at their women's hockey program, where they are currently (0-10-4 overall after tonight...imagine playing 14 games without getting a single win....., 0-4-2 and 11th place in the ECAC), their history, and what they want their future to be, and make a decision to move their women's team back to D3. It's a very expensive school that is D3 in everything else except for the two hockey teams but the landscape of men's hockey vs. women's hockey is very different in so many many ways. The women's team at Union is never going to draw enough good talent to truly compete at the D1 level like their men's team has been able to do and I don't care who the coach is/was/is going to be in the future. It's a failing situation for the women's hockey team because better recruits will almost always choose schools that offer them athletic scholarships or better financial aid packages than Union and that includes other D3 schools like the schools in the NESCAC. How hard is it to find a very good player that is very smart academically, can afford and is willing to pay the Union tuition and fees, and wants to play on a bottom level team that will never make it to their conference playoffs?! Extremely hard I would think. There's no doubt that is going to be a very rare player to find. Now try to find 4-5 of them every year?! It's just not going to happen...ever.

The smartest thing for them to do is to move the program back to D3 where it clearly belongs. If they did move back to D3 they would have much more success and much more fun. I'm not convinced they would win the D3 national championship any time soon either but it would be so much more fun for those players to play on a team that would actually be good enough to make it to the playoffs of whatever conference they would join. They would probably fit best in the ECAC West but the main thing is for them to make the smart move back to D3 as soon as possible.

Thoughts?

I agree that the choice for Union is likely between being a perennial bottom tier Div 1 team or a perennial top tier Div 3 team. The type of player that Union will attract will be similar in both situations...good hockey players with good academics who want to go to a high quality, smaller school. It really comes down to what is best for the players, and there I think I disagree: I think that most of the players have more fun trying to compete against the best at the Div 1 level than they would have being among the best at Div 3. It would be different if they were so weak that their games were a joke, but that is not the case: except for games against top 10 teams they almost always make their opposition play at the top of their game and always pull off a few wins and ties each year, some of them upsets. Even games against top 10 teams are not massive blowouts.

HockeyEast33
12-02-2015, 11:40 AM
I really believe it's time for Union to take a serious look at their women's hockey program, where they are currently (0-10-4 overall after tonight...imagine playing 14 games without getting a single win....., 0-4-2 and 11th place in the ECAC), their history, and what they want their future to be, and make a decision to move their women's team back to D3. It's a very expensive school that is D3 in everything else except for the two hockey teams but the landscape of men's hockey vs. women's hockey is very different in so many many ways. The women's team at Union is never going to draw enough good talent to truly compete at the D1 level like their men's team has been able to do and I don't care who the coach is/was/is going to be in the future. It's a failing situation for the women's hockey team because better recruits will almost always choose schools that offer them athletic scholarships or better financial aid packages than Union and that includes other D3 schools like the schools in the NESCAC. How hard is it to find a very good player that is very smart academically, can afford and is willing to pay the Union tuition and fees, and wants to play on a bottom level team that will never make it to their conference playoffs?! Extremely hard I would think. There's no doubt that is going to be a very rare player to find. Now try to find 4-5 of them every year?! It's just not going to happen...ever.

The smartest thing for them to do is to move the program back to D3 where it clearly belongs. If they did move back to D3 they would have much more success and much more fun. I'm not convinced they would win the D3 national championship any time soon either but it would be so much more fun for those players to play on a team that would actually be good enough to make it to the playoffs of whatever conference they would join. They would probably fit best in the ECAC West but the main thing is for them to make the smart move back to D3 as soon as possible.

Thoughts?

Union (and really any school) can be successful at the D1 level with the right recipe of coach, resources, facilities, and players. Union has effectively had only one coach at the D1 level. What has happened there is proof that she cannot be successful in that environment, not that Union can't be successful at the D1 level. Until I see at least two more respected coaches take a shot and fail at Union on the women's side, I wouldn't give up on D1 yet. But they do need to make the change after this season just to purge the air and start over - Asano-Barcomb has had 9 years there and just can't get it done.

hkypassion
12-02-2015, 12:43 PM
Union (and really any school) can be successful at the D1 level with the right recipe of coach, resources, facilities, and players. Union has effectively had only one coach at the D1 level. What has happened there is proof that she cannot be successful in that environment, not that Union can't be successful at the D1 level. Until I see at least two more respected coaches take a shot and fail at Union on the women's side, I wouldn't give up on D1 yet. But they do need to make the change after this season just to purge the air and start over - Asano-Barcomb has had 9 years there and just can't get it done.

I would add the RPI coach to this as well - has had WAY too many years of "trying" with less than 25% win rate. Time for a change because there's talent there and like Union academics is a draw but BONUS over Union is scholarships available! Culture of winning is not there and fresh blood will introduce a new culture. Status quo should not be acceptable at D1.

PuckRush
12-02-2015, 01:00 PM
Union (and really any school) can be successful at the D1 level with the right recipe of coach, resources, facilities, and players. Union has effectively had only one coach at the D1 level. What has happened there is proof that she cannot be successful in that environment, not that Union can't be successful at the D1 level. Until I see at least two more respected coaches take a shot and fail at Union on the women's side, I wouldn't give up on D1 yet. But they do need to make the change after this season just to purge the air and start over - Asano-Barcomb has had 9 years there and just can't get it done.

Totally agree. She has no sense of urgency when it comes to recruiting. I have no idea why she's still there.

Skate79
12-03-2015, 04:36 PM
I really believe it's time for Union to take a serious look at their women's hockey program, where they are currently (0-10-4 overall after tonight...imagine playing 14 games without getting a single win....., 0-4-2 and 11th place in the ECAC), their history, and what they want their future to be, and make a decision to move their women's team back to D3. It's a very expensive school that is D3 in everything else except for the two hockey teams but the landscape of men's hockey vs. women's hockey is very different in so many many ways. The women's team at Union is never going to draw enough good talent to truly compete at the D1 level like their men's team has been able to do and I don't care who the coach is/was/is going to be in the future. It's a failing situation for the women's hockey team because better recruits will almost always choose schools that offer them athletic scholarships or better financial aid packages than Union and that includes other D3 schools like the schools in the NESCAC. How hard is it to find a very good player that is very smart academically, can afford and is willing to pay the Union tuition and fees, and wants to play on a bottom level team that will never make it to their conference playoffs?! Extremely hard I would think. There's no doubt that is going to be a very rare player to find. Now try to find 4-5 of them every year?! It's just not going to happen...ever.

The smartest thing for them to do is to move the program back to D3 where it clearly belongs. If they did move back to D3 they would have much more success and much more fun. I'm not convinced they would win the D3 national championship any time soon either but it would be so much more fun for those players to play on a team that would actually be good enough to make it to the playoffs of whatever conference they would join. They would probably fit best in the ECAC West but the main thing is for them to make the smart move back to D3 as soon as possible.

Thoughts?

Well, to be honest, Union despite its record is better than it was seven or eight years ago. Back then, they couldn't skate, shoot or defend other than their goalie. Harvard used to hold shooting galleries when we played them (I'm talking 55 shots a game). I'm not trying to be a wise *** here; just saying that they have raised the talent level to some degree although clearly not enough to compete night in, night out in the ECAC. Would another coach make a difference? So far, that hasn't happened at Brown. Sometimes breaking the culture of losing takes years, maybe even decades. I don't know if a high profile coach would take the Union job and who knows if Union would shell out the bucks to find that coach. The administration doesn't seem to be all that concerned about the losing unless someone with ties to Union can clarify their position. Perhaps they thought that if the men can succeed, why not the women? That's where coaching, attitude, commitment, discipline, focus and mental toughness come into play. It has to wear on the players after a while to not be able to finish off games and get the W. You can only hear your coach encourage or admonish you so many times before you just tune it all out.

EastFan1
12-03-2015, 05:17 PM
Well, to be honest, Union despite its record is better than it was seven or eight years ago. Back then, they couldn't skate, shoot or defend other than their goalie. Harvard used to hold shooting galleries when we played them (I'm talking 55 shots a game). I'm not trying to be a wise *** here; just saying that they have raised the talent level to some degree although clearly not enough to compete night in, night out in the ECAC. Would another coach make a difference? So far, that hasn't happened at Brown. Sometimes breaking the culture of losing takes years, maybe even decades. I don't know if a high profile coach would take the Union job and who knows if Union would shell out the bucks to find that coach. The administration doesn't seem to be all that concerned about the losing unless someone with ties to Union can clarify their position. Perhaps they thought that if the men can succeed, why not the women? That's where coaching, attitude, commitment, discipline, focus and mental toughness come into play. It has to wear on the players after a while to not be able to finish off games and get the W. You can only hear your coach encourage or admonish you so many times before you just tune it all out.

There are not enough high end players in women's hockey to have success without scholarships like the men. Union can't get those women players without scholarships. Given the circumstances, keeping scores close and trying to tie or win 8 to 10 games a year is pretty reasonable for any coach.

D2D
12-03-2015, 05:42 PM
There are not enough high end players in women's hockey to have success without scholarships like the men.
This is the main reason why some teams (like Union) cannot compete with the top teams. Assuming the women's game continues to grow, it should eventually even out.

HockeyEast33
12-03-2015, 08:07 PM
This is the main reason why some teams (like Union) cannot compete with the top teams.

We've been down this path in other threads and I won't repeat other than to say I don't agree and the reasons are elsewhere on the forum. But let's look at the team history:

Season W L T
15-16 0 10 4
14-15 4 22 8
13-14 9 24 1
12-13 7 23 4
11-12 4 26 4
10-11 2 29 3
09-10 5 28 1
08-09 2 29 3
07-08 3 27 2

You could argue that they were making progress and on the right track through 12-13 and 13-14 where they won 7 and 9 games, respectively. They picked up a few of their wins each year against new D1 programs those years (RIT, Penn State, etc.), but they beat some established teams and you could make that argument. Now they are trending down again now that Lundberg has graduated. Folks, it is just time for someone else to take a shot at making the Union model work. 9 years is a long time to coach at a school in college athletics, particularly if you are consistently losing like this, and now the trend isn't good. It doesn't mean that CBA is a bad person, but she can't seem to find success. At no other D1 school would this trajectory be acceptable - why Union? A new coach would bring a new set of eyes and approach and things really can't get much worse...

WRT Brown and their new coach from the comment in the other post, I was not a fan of that hire (look it up) but the guy was left with a complete mess and without any highly sought after D1 recruits. He is basically trying to make a high level D3 team competitive at the D1 level. I think it will be at least 2 years before you can say he is failing...

shelfit
12-03-2015, 10:01 PM
"At no other D1 school would this trajectory be acceptable - why Union?"

Except for the fact that Union is not a D1 school and that's part of the problem here. A D3 tolerance for a team playing D1 hockey when they really should be playing D3 hockey instead of trying to keep scores close every weekend. That's not fun for anyone.

In my earlier post I stated that the landscape of women's hockey is very different from the landscape of men's hockey. There aren't the same numbers to choose from in women's hockey and those that are attracted to Union are also attracted to schools in the NESCAC with the difference being they can choose a school in the NESCAC and be in the playoffs every year instead of NEVER at Union. I really don't believe a high profile coach can make much difference in this case. Very good players will choose Ivy League and scholarship schools over Union 9 times out of 10 at least because they'll have to pay less and be able to play on playoff bound teams some of which have a chance to make it to the NCAAs. There just aren't enough very good players that are going to choose Union for so many very practical and financial reasons. The odds are too highly stacked against Union to do well in recruiting for women's hockey no matter who the coach is. I'm not defending the current coach. I'd agree she's probably an average at best coach but she's also at a school that should be playing D3 women's hockey. I bet the coach would have a very respectable record if that was the case.

EastFan1
12-04-2015, 12:28 AM
Now they are trending down again now that Lundberg has graduated.

Unless I'm reading the stats wrong, Union's goalie has a .943 save percentage so far this year. How does that compare against the starters for teams like Minnesota, BU, UMD and North Dakota? Freshman?

Skate79
12-04-2015, 08:07 AM
There are not enough high end players in women's hockey to have success without scholarships like the men. Union can't get those women players without scholarships. Given the circumstances, keeping scores close and trying to tie or win 8 to 10 games a year is pretty reasonable for any coach.

Harvard does not offer scholarships and we have to compete with the likes of BC, BU, UNH, Providence and other schools that can provide a free ride. We've been successful and have had winning records consistently. So I'm not entirely buying your theory.

hab
12-04-2015, 09:42 AM
"At no other D1 school would this trajectory be acceptable - why Union?"

Except for the fact that Union is not a D1 school and that's part of the problem here. A D3 tolerance for a team playing D1 hockey when they really should be playing D3 hockey instead of trying to keep scores close every weekend. That's not fun for anyone.


I suspect that this was written without any real knowledge of the situation at Union or other so-called D3 schools playing D1 hockey. Clarkson, St. Lawrence, RPI and Union are D3 in all sports except hockey but they have proud hockey traditions and a strong hockey culture on campus and definitely do not have "D3 tolerance" for their teams' performance. Union is unique amongst those schools in that they do not provide athletic scholarships, strictly speaking, but they do try to provide financial assistance to help recruit players (as the Ivies do) and have had some very successful years on the men's side. The key there, was coaching: Nate Leaman came in, took an unsuccessful program and built it into a powerhouse which went on to win a national championship shortly after he left. He is now doing the same thing at Providence. Coaches can make an enormous impact at the college level. Do you have first hand knowledge that the Union players are not having "fun"? I suspect that they are.

giwan
12-04-2015, 12:04 PM
Harvard does not offer scholarships and we have to compete with the likes of BC, BU, UNH, Providence and other schools that can provide a free ride. We've been successful and have had winning records consistently. So I'm not entirely buying your theory.

More than likely Harvard is giving full financial assistance.

Skate79
12-04-2015, 02:39 PM
More than likely Harvard is giving full financial assistance.

Harvard gives generous financial aid - I'm not sure what you mean by 'full' assistance. But how does this make them different from Union? Doesn't Union give financial aid as well? Sorry, that argument doesn't hold water. If Union wants to be successful as a D-1 women's program, they have to commit the resources to make that happen. So far it seems as if the administration has only focused on the men's program. Maybe that changes after this year, maybe not. But financial aid won't be the determining factor as to whether or not Union builds a winner. It will be one factor but not the only one.

EastFan1
12-04-2015, 03:21 PM
Harvard gives generous financial aid - I'm not sure what you mean by 'full' assistance. But how does this make them different from Union? Doesn't Union give financial aid as well? Sorry, that argument doesn't hold water. If Union wants to be successful as a D-1 women's program, they have to commit the resources to make that happen. So far it seems as if the administration has only focused on the men's program. Maybe that changes after this year, maybe not. But financial aid won't be the determining factor as to whether or not Union builds a winner. It will be one factor but not the only one.

"commit the resources" to be successful -

What does that mean? What do the Union men have that the women do not? Different rink?

giwan
12-04-2015, 05:23 PM
Harvard gives generous financial aid - I'm not sure what you mean by 'full' assistance. But how does this make them different from Union? Doesn't Union give financial aid as well? Sorry, that argument doesn't hold water. If Union wants to be successful as a D-1 women's program, they have to commit the resources to make that happen. So far it seems as if the administration has only focused on the men's program. Maybe that changes after this year, maybe not. But financial aid won't be the determining factor as to whether or not Union builds a winner. It will be one factor but not the only one.

I just meant GENEROU$ aid, more so than compared to Union. Have two friends that their daughters are on the team, I get enough feedback when I ask them about things. BUT you are correct that alone does not make them a winner. It can potentially sway a better player though to Harvard vs Union.

The mix of having a winning team is always more than one player, one coach, more money etc. but it is a mix of having the right combination. In the athletic world there are many many examples of this in all sports and levels of sport.

Skate79
12-04-2015, 09:22 PM
"commit the resources" to be successful -

What does that mean? What do the Union men have that the women do not? Different rink?

Larger recruiting budget for one. I'm not familiar with Union's program or how it is run but money committed to coaching and recruiting would be a good place to start. Does Union encourage or spend for their coaches in the off season to attend camps and build affiliations with national or junior programs that can be feeders for better players? Again, I'm spitballing here because I don't have intimate knowledge of Union's athletic programs and their oversight.

Skate79
12-04-2015, 09:28 PM
I just meant GENEROU$ aid, more so than compared to Union. Have two friends that their daughters are on the team, I get enough feedback when I ask them about things. BUT you are correct that alone does not make them a winner. It can potentially sway a better player though to Harvard vs Union.

The mix of having a winning team is always more than one player, one coach, more money etc. but it is a mix of having the right combination. In the athletic world there are many many examples of this in all sports and levels of sport.

No question that Harvard has the financial resources to compete with any school in the country that doesn't offer scholarships. Whether they choose to use those resources on athletes, exceptional musicians, artists, techies and other talented kids is up to the financial aid office. Money has to be available to all students applying to the college, not just hockey players. I don't doubt it makes it that much harder for Union to go up against us for top flight players. The Union men seem to land quality players, some of whom would look good in Crimson. Just sayin'.

FanofGoodHockey
12-12-2015, 08:40 PM
Didn't RIT go to the NCAA tournament last year? And, aren't they in a similar position as Union...good school academically, NO athletic scholarships. So, we can make all the excuses we want for Union Women's Hockey we want and find reasons why they continue to not win games. But, RIT wins games against good programs and they are in the same position. I would have to say that the problem is coaching and recruiting. Nobody said it was easy to win there or get good players, but I'd be willing to bet if they got somebody who worked tirelessly to land a few impact players things would start to turn around.

PuckRush
12-12-2015, 10:00 PM
Didn't RIT go to the NCAA tournament last year? And, aren't they in a similar position as Union...good school academically, NO athletic scholarships. So, we can make all the excuses we want for Union Women's Hockey we want and find reasons why they continue to not win games. But, RIT wins games against good programs and they are in the same position. I would have to say that the problem is coaching and recruiting. Nobody said it was easy to win there or get good players, but I'd be willing to bet if they got somebody who worked tirelessly to land a few impact players things would start to turn around.

Until they try your idea, we'll never know.