Sunday, May 21, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Lexington SC - 02.02


- Opponent: Lexington SC
- Location: Toyota Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 3-0 W

- Starting XI: Reason, Kugler, Watson, Bahr, Chatterton, Dewey, S., Rogers (C), Hershfelt, Chester, Soderstrom, K., Whitsett

- Substitution: Kraszula 62' (Dewey), Lacognata 62' (Chester), Sexton 62' (Chatterton); Dean 72' (Soderstom), Kevdzija 72' (Hershfelt), Matsuhisa 72' (Whitsett)

- Unused: Edwards

- Scoring Summary:
IND – Dewey, S. 17’ (unassisted)
IND - Whitesett 23' (assist Dewey, S.)
IND - Chester 43' (seems to be officially as unassisted, but I would have given the assist to Chatterton)

- Bookings:

- Referee: Chad Collins
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

When you go undefeated last season and start season #2 with an 8-nil thrashing of St. Charles, expectations start to become elevated. However, when your second opponent of the season is a new club that has split their first two games with a win and a loss, against Kings Hammer and Racing Louisville, respectively, it's difficult to know exactly what to expect. Is another dominant performance to be expected and another undefeated season, or should fans temper their expectations?

Indy came out and struggled in the beginning stages to impose themselves, with Lexington controlling the possession early. Then Indy's pressure, and direct balls into the midfielders and forwards began to settle the game for Indy. Indy's leading scorers in Sam Dewey and Whitsett added to their totals within the first 25 minutes and the tone of the game changed. After Dewey's goal in the 17th minute, Indy's pressure stifled Lexington's attack until Whitsett doubled the lead.

Once Indy had the two-goal lead, they were able to be extremely patient in their build-up and limited Lexington to minimal possession in dangerous areas. As the half drew to a close, Lexington had a well-timed pass to beat the offside trap when Chatterton stepped forward, but the shot was too close to Reason who collected it without allowing a rebound. A minute later and Indy put Lexington further into a hole when Chester received a ball on the left from Chatterton, took a few dribbles, pushed the ball inside to her right foot and sent a ball up and over Josephson into the upper 90. That's how the teams entered the halftime locker room. Indy up by three goals, and could have scored a couple more, including a couple from Soderstrom that I'm sure she wishes she had done better.

After the break, the game settled into the same as it had right before halftime, with Indy content to possess when possible, periodically send balls over the top to Soderstrom, Whitsett, or Chester, and preventing Lexington from doing anything within Indy's defensive third. Indy was a little less clinical in their finishing in the second half than they were in the first, but with a comfortable lead and control of the game, Indy didn't have to force anything. To be fair, Lexington's backline did a better job in the second half of keeping Indy's forwards in front of them more and not allowing the over-the-top balls that Indy feasted upon in the first half. 

As with the game against St. Charles, Indy probably left some goals on the table, but it's hard to find much fault in a 3-nil win. If I had to nit-pick, I would say that Indy is still giving the ball away unnecessarily. However, their work rate and their team defense swarmed back around the ball, preventing Lexington from doing much with the ball when Indy did make the mistakes.

As important as the win, Coach Dolinsky was able to use his full complement of subs, knowing that there's a game coming up on Wednesday against Kings Hammer. The game on Wednesday will be Indy's final away game before the full voice of the BYB gets to be heard in a proper broadcast with ISC and Rakestraw on June 2nd against Racing Louisville. While this broadcast was much better than the one for the game against St. Charles, the replays took a little long and covered the action that had resumed quickly. Like their team, they'll figure out how to do that more efficiently.

Temper expectations? No, I don't think so.  

The Game Beckons Game Ball

I want to give the GBGB to the duo of Rogers and Hershfelt, who consistently clogged the middle during Lexington's attack, while also providing great distribution on the offensive side of things. Indy's offense starts with the team defense, and Rogers and Hershfelt were key in that role today.

No comments: