Sunday, September 17, 2017

DePauw vs Franklin at Carroll Stadium

This past Wednesday, I was able to bug out of work early to be able to watch the DePauw Men's soccer team take on Franklin College at Carroll Stadium prior to the Indy Eleven vs North Carolina FC game that evening. With a 3:30 start time, attendance was a little light, but fully engaged. At least for the first 20 minutes, at which point the DePauw Tigers had put three goals on the board thanks to a brace from senior Taras Tataryn and a goal from fellow senior Peter White. Junior Justin Mitchell added a fourth goal in the 63rd minute before Franklin College's Luke Oliver put the visitors on the board with a penalty kick in the 79th minute.

The final statistics indicate that the Tigers outshot the Grizzlies 26 to 10, but the majority of Franklin's shots came in the second half, after the result of the game was well in hand for the Tigers. DePauw was completely dominant. While official stats aren't kept on time of possession, my best guess puts it at around 70/30 in the first half, maybe even more lopsided. The second half brought the numbers closer together as DePauw slightly took their foot off the gas, but still maintained the majority of possession. DePauw's players moved the ball well between each other and were able to put 11 of their 26 shots on frame forcing Franklin's goalkeepers Beldon and Byrd into 7 saves.

Not only was DePauw dominant in their performance, though not perfect as evidenced by the 79th minute penalty kick, but they did it while rotating players in and out. By my count, 31 different Tigers found their way onto the field, including 4 different goalkeepers. Despite the frequent changes, there wasn't a significant affect on their play. The team seamlessly integrated guys as they entered and exited and maintained their constant pressure on the Grizzlies. Some of that may be attributed to having superior talent than the Grizzlies who are struggling to find wins, but it's not easy to

You may be asking about how DePauw was able to play 31 players. Well, if you saw my interview with DePauw Head Coach Brad Hauter in May, DePauw started a reserve squad this year and Coach Hauter brought everybody. Talking briefly with him afterwards (he had to quickly change hats from coach to Indy Eleven color commentator) , he indicated that they don't normally travel with such an extensive roster, but given the unique experience of playing in Michael Carroll Stadium, he felt it was important to bring the house. Like any good coach, he still found issues with the way his team played, particularly the focus towards the end of the game when his team was up by four that contributed to the penalty kick.

One last thing to note. The DePauw men's team has an official full roster of 38 men. During the entirety of the match, the entire roster stood watching the game. Coach Hauter indicated to me that the coaches want the players to remain engaged in the game, but that it is not at the coaches direction that the players stand. A few season's ago, the seniors decided to take a more active role in the leadership of the team than their predecessors, and they instituted the standing requirement. It has remained a part of the team. It was a good example of how leadership with a soccer team doesn't just come from the coaching staff, but from the players too.

The team has had mixed results this season, but it was all working Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis.

Photos courtesy of Don Thompson:

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