Sunday, June 2, 2024

Indy Eleven vs Lexington SC - 03.05


- Opponent: Lexington SC
- Location: Grand Park
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 4-0 W

- Starting XI: Reason, Martin, Darey, Bahr, Sexton, Chatterton, Rogers (C), Mitchell, Chester, Soderstom, K., Whitsett

- Substitution: Budish 62' (Whitsett), Otto 62' (Chatterton), White 62' (Chester), Pelkowski 62' (Rogers), Unkraut 62' (Darey)

- Unused: Weiger, Cuneio

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Rogers 5' (unassisted)
IND - Mitchell 6' (assist Soderstrom, K.)
IND - Rogers 19' (assist Soderstrom, K.)
IND - Soderstrom, K. 53' (assist Whitsett)

- Bookings: 
IND - Bahr 57' (Yellow)
LEX - Dawahare 69' (Yellow)

- Referee: 
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

The USL W League is a weird league. Lineups change frequently. Players are added to rosters all the time. Kings Hammer get a draw from Indy, but then give up St. Charles' first goal of the season. Coach Dolinsky is in North Carolina with the ECNL teams, and just like Indy has Abby Unkraut on the roster who played for Kings Hammer the previous two seasons, Lexington comes to town with one of our former players, Trinity Watson. Trinity played in 9 games for Indy last year, starting 8 of them, and was a steady defender. With many of the younger Indy Eleven players with Dolinsky in NC, the veterans from last year's team got to face off against their former teammate who is now captaining today's opponent. Dolinsky's presence in North Carolina also meant that in addition to the number of changes in Indy's starting lineup, assist coach Brandon Kim took the reigns for the day.

The early minutes of the game were a bit frenetic as both teams looked like they were fully aware of the magnitude of what this game could mean for the Valley Division standings. Both teams had several giveaways as they tried to settle into the game. Before either team was fully under control, Indy managed to put two goals into the Lexington goal from crosses on the right side into the box. The first one wasn't handled well by the Lexington defense nor goalkeeper Vukas and the ball fell nicely to Rogers to put it on frame and off of Vukas' hands. The second goal from Indy came from a cross from Soderstrom that Mitchell one-timed into the goal. 

The second goal also seemed to settle both teams down after the action-packed start, but continued to be played in Lexington's defensive half of the field. Lexington did manage to get a foray forward in the 16th minute that Woods pushed just to the side of the goal. However, it was just minutes later that Rogers found her second goal of the day and fifth in the past three games. Rogers had just two goals in the previous two seasons, but has found her scoring touch this season. 

Just before the 30-minute mark, Indy thought they had found a fourth goal, but it was called off by an apparent handball by the alleged goal scorer Whitsett. The referee made the call from a difficult position but checked with his lineup to confirm the call. Looking at the replays from the telecast, Indy and Whitsett had a legit complaint about the goal being taken off the board. Regardless, Indy took a three-goal lead into the halftime break.

Lexington came out of the locker room intent on getting themselves on the board and had an early chance when Martin didn't step quickly enough. The ball found a wide open Bookhard, but she dragged her shot wide, keeping Indy ahead by their three-goal margin. Indy extended their lead a few minutes later when Whitsett lofted a ball towards goal that Vukas had difficulty punching and the ball fell to Soderstrom who made no mistake with the ball to get it on her left foot and blasted it past the helpless goalkeeper from just a couple yards away. While Whitsett was officially credited with the assist, I'm not sure that I would have given it to her given the play on it from Vukas, but what do I know? I'm also splitting hairs, so I appreciate the score keeper leaning toward awarding the assist.

While Lexington had a much more concerted effort in the second half to be on the front foot and spent much more time in Indy's defensive half of the field, their final efforts continued to fail them. In the moments when they finally made all the right passes and shots, Indy's defense proved to be better and stifled the attack with last-ditch defending and saves from Reason. The talent is there for Lexington, particularly along the back line with Watson and Weeks, but it wasn't to be on this Sunday matinee.

Indy return to action on Friday in the season's second edition of the WLIPAFC when Racing Louisville come to town. Indy won the first round in Louisville by a score of 3-1, with goals from White, Cuneio, and Jacomen and missed out on the clean sheet after conceding an 89th minute goal. Racing will look to try and reel back in Indy to keep themselves in the division race while Indy will look to make make the division theirs to lose.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

On a team where the finest of margins can separate who can get the GBGB due the high level that every single one of these women play, I could easily give this to Katie Soderstrom because of her goal and two assist night or to Rogers for her brace and nobody would think me crazy. However, I think I'm going to give today's GBGB to the duo of Bahr and Martin, for a solid defensive effort that stifled all of Lexington's attacks, limiting the opposition to minimal good looks on goal. For a pair of players that have day jobs, and one that is coming off MCL rehab, I want to reward their effort and leadership in today's game.

Photos - Don Thompson Photography

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