Technology proves helpful for women’s soccer team

The Central Michigan women’s soccer team has incorporated the use of statistics technology to help give them the extra edge in competing for another Mid-American Conference Championship this year.

The team has used fundraising to purchase an analysis program called Stat DNA that gives the team statistics in all aspects of the game, from individual numbers to team stats. The program can be used for any sport and is designed to help teams, from the professional level to collegiate level, discover trends and tendencies in the team's play.

The technology of this program is far more sophisticated than a team going back after the game and looking at film, said head coach Neil Stafford.

“Instead of looking at a DVD, you can literally break everything down so you can pick exact moments in the game and analyze it," Stafford said. "It’s like going from a PC to a Mac."

StatDNA breaks down the game film you send them, and they send back a complete analysis within 24–72 hours. The results can be seen on StatDNA's webpage and vary in price, depending on the type of statistics requested and turn–around time.

The program gets the film and breaks down player and team comparisons. In each of these categories, they break them further down into four groups: set pieces, offense, defense and shots.

There are also additional options, which are trends and video query. The program allows you to pick apart the game in almost every way.  Applications, such as the heat map, allow the team to see where players get the most touches on the field.

“My favorite part of the program is called the pass matrix," senior forward Laura Twidle said. "It lists the names of all the players on the top and the side of the screen and lists how many times you pass the ball to each individual player."

However, the program has considerable depth to it.

“It’s been like an onion so far. You just keep peeling and peeling off layers to this program ... it never ends," Stafford said. "I don’t think we will truly be able to appreciate it this year because of how much stuff is in this program."

Despite the vastness of the program, it seems to have had a positive effect on the team and prepares them better for the game.

“I think it has helped us for the better," Twidle said. "Instead of going back and looking at film, we can watch ourselves in exact moments of the game."

The program will help assist the team as they continue on their mission to another Mid–American Conference title with a three–game home stand ahead against Akron, Buffalo and Miami (Ohio).


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