Thursday, May 12, 2022

Indy Eleven vs Flint City AFC - 01.02


- Opponent: Flint City AFC
- Location: Kettering's Atwood Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 6-1 W

- Starting XI: Wood, McCarthy (Robyn), Isger, Kraszula, McLaughlin, Bahr, Lynch, Rogers, Soderstrom, Williams, McCarthy (Rachel)
- Substitution: Bulatovic 56' (McCarthy Ra); Dewey 67' (Williams); Barnett 74' (Isger); Dean 74' (Bahr)
- Unused: 

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Williams 17' (unassisted)
IND - Soderstom 25' (assist Lynch)
FLT – Gemelli 38’ (assist Lopez)
IND - Rogers 41' (assist McCarthy, Ra.)
IND - Bulatovic 71' (assist Lynch)
IND - Bulatovic 83' (assist Soderstrom)
IND - Soderstrom 90' (assist Lynch)

- Bookings:

- Referee: Nicole Green
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

Let's start with an appreciation of Greg Rakestraw and the production value of the Indy Eleven home games. I didn't necessarily object to the commentary, but wow, the camera work was a bit rough for this game. At least there are cameras so that the games can be seen, so that's an important part of growing the game in this country.

Now let's talk about the field. I know why games get played on fields like the one at Kettering University, but that many lines on a field (and a different colored moat around it), makes for some difficult viewing. 

Onto the game itself...

This team is fun to watch. When I talked to Rachel McCarthy last week, she indicated that a back three lineup was a new thing for many (all?) of them. You wouldn't know it the way that the first two games have gone. Sure, Indy put a solid half-dozen goals on the board and it could have easily been at least two or three more. Getting to 10 goals in a game doesn't seem like a stretch the way this team plays. Yet, with the exception of the couple errors that lead to Flint City's goal, Indy's defensive is just as stout as the offense is explosive. McCarthy (Robyn), Isger, Leonard, McLaughlin, Bahr, etc. are all defensively sound. The defense starts with the forwards and midfield, who made it extremely difficult for Flint City to do much of anything without being under pressure. 

That's a recipe for success and a cause for worry for the opposing teams.

Midway through the second half, with Indy already up 3-1, they were content to knock the ball around and let FLT chase the ball around the field. I don't know how many touches Wood had, but the ball was routinely passed back to her as Indy slowed down the game and looked for their spots to get FLT out of their defensive shape. Once that happened, Indy attacks with pace from Williams, Soderstrom, McCarthy, and a seemingly unending string of players willing to go forward and attack FLT's goal. Even a few of the balls over the top that I thought were optimistic, somehow found Indy players and chances on goal.

One of the things that I notice and appreciate the most about this team offensively, is that because all of the forwards (and midfielders) are willing and capable finishers, there is rarely a lack of support in the box as the ball goes forward. Crosses have the ability to find somebody. Parried shots from the goalkeeper, if not sent far enough, have the chance to finding a player in position for the rebound. Every single one of the forwards is looking to shoot the ball whenever they get an open window to do so and are within 25 yards of the goal. 

I'm sure Coach Dolinsky and the team are going to strive towards a clean sheet as they get more time together, but when you can outscore your opponents 9 to 2 in the first two games, a clean sheet is just an added bonus. Which is probably why the team traveled with just a single goalkeeper to this game. I've never seen a roster that didn't include a backup goalkeeper. I know some of it is out of his hands, but there's also a sense of a bit of bravado and confidence that goes into having a single keeper in the lineup. It sound like from the broadcast that if something happened to Wood, there might not have been a formal plan on what to do. With this team, I wouldn't be surprised if the plan wouldn't be to just attack even more.

Indy continue to be on the road next week in their version of LIPAC, as they travel to Louisville to taking on the Racing Louisville's USL W team. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Who do you give the GBGB to when the team scores 6 goals, two players score 2 goals a piece, and only give up a single goal for the other team? You could roll the dice. It seems almost as fair. However, I think I'm going to give it to Soderstrom for the effort she put in throughout the 90 minutes. With the team up 5-1 in the dying minutes of the game, she was looking for another goal and she was looking for that goal to come from her. She had some passing options, but she took on her defender 1v1, left, then right, then left after leaving the defender helpless sitting on the ground and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper with her left foot. Any deflection, and there were three other Indy players (Dean, Lynch, and Bulatovic) ready to pounce on the ball for their own goal. Knowing she had the support, Soderstrom was unafraid to take the chance and I love that mentality from a forward. So, she gets the nod for the GBGB, but this team makes it really difficult to give this "award."

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