Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Indy Eleven vs Kalamazoo FC - 01.09


- Opponent: Kalamazoo FC
- Location: Mayors Riverfront Park
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 1-0 W

- Starting XI: Wood, McCarthy (Ro) (C), Isger, Bahr, Chatterton, McCalligett, Chesters, Rogers, Gajdobranski, Bulatovic, Williams

- Substitution: Cherry 45' (McCalligett); Kraszula 45' (Gajdobranski); Lindley 64' (Isger)

- Unused: Phillips, McCarthy (Ra)

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Chester 55' (unassisted)

- Bookings:
ZOO - Maria 21' (Yellow Card)

- Referee: ??
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

It's another away game for Indy Eleven, so insert my regularly scheduled comment about my appreciation of Greg Rakestraw & Margaret McLaughlin (or Darling or Presser in their place), and the production value of the Indy Eleven home games by ISC Sports Network. I had no issue with the commentary on this one, but the jerky video feed of this game was rough to watch.

Indy had a few newish faces and combination to the starting lineup and it showed for a significant portion of the first half. Indy had a lot more of the possession than Kalamazoo, but ZOO had the bulk of the good opportunities on goal early. Indy were attempting to go over the top of ZOO, but with very little success. The long passes were routinely too long, and players weren't on the same page. Eventually, Indy found their attacking footing, which lead, not surprisingly through the left foot of Williams, with their first major chance of the game in the 33-minute. William's shot was parried over the goal for a corner kick, which led to a second long-distance blast that went high. 

After the hydration break, where Coach Dolinsky had a chance to talk to everyone at the same time, unfortunately, not much changed. Indy held possession, but couldn't unlock the very disciplined backline of ZOO. After the halftime break, Indy continued to dominate the possession, and was able to find more effective shots than they were in the first half. Eventually the break through, and game winning, goal happened in the 55th minute on a 25-yard shot from Chester after the ZOO defense failed to adequately close her down as she moved through the center of the field and put the ball low and to the left of the outstretched Mora. If we're honest, of the shots that Indy took in this game, this one, from this distance, and with where the goalkeeper is standing, is not the one in which I thought they would score. Just goes to show that if you put the ball on frame, good things can happen.

After that score, it was all Indy. Possession, opportunities, and crosses. The only thing missing was another goal, but Bulatovic, Chester, and Williams did everything they could to get a second or third insurance goal, but the ZOO goalkeepers were up to the challenge and provided a solid 9 or 10 saves (unofficially...) between the two ZOO keepers. 

With the win, Indy extends their lead on the rest of the teams in the division, standing 6 points clear of 2nd place Racing Louisville, and now even on games. They also get to enjoy a bit of a break before a hectic final three games of the regular season. Indy will play in Detroit on July 1st, then return home to finish against this same Kalamazoo team on Sunday July 3rd, before finishing on July 9th in the Detroit doubleheader with the men's teams. 

Sidenote: As an Indy Eleven beat writer who has a regular job (that doesn't involve sports in any way), that week is going to be rough for me to cover all the teams' games: 
  • July 1 USL-W 
  • July 2 USL-C
  • July 3 USL-W
  • July 6 USL-C
  • July 9 USL-W/USL-C. 

We've come to expect fireworks from this team. While the scoreboard only showed one goal for Indy, this was a very professional effort by the women on the road on an extremely hot day. As a result of that professional approach to this game, the team is poised to be the regular season division champion with three more successful outings, the last of which the team hopes to break the record for most attended women's game in the state. So if you like to watch a winner, make sure you come to Grand Park on the 3rd and to Carroll Stadium on the 9th. If you're a season ticket holder for the men, you already have a ticket. Use it.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
The obvious choice for the Game Beckons Game Ball is Chester as the goal scorer. The less obvious choice is Chester as the force that ran the offense through the midfield (Rogers was a force there too...). It's Chester. Chester gets the GBGB for an outstanding effort today in the midfield on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. With her goal, she becomes Indy's 8th player to score a goal this season...in 9 games.

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