Sunday, June 30, 2024

Indy Eleven vs Racing Louisville - 03.10


- Opponent: Racing Louisville
- Location: Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training 
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 6-2 L

- Starting XI: Phillips, Snyder, Bahr (C), Otto, Chatterton, Darey, Mitchell, Soderstrom, S., Chester, Soderstrom, K., Jacomen

- Substitution: Katembo 45' (Jacomen); Sexton 63' (Soderstrom, S.); Adam 63' (Chatterton); Tobin 71' (Darey)

- Unused: Blair

- Scoring Summary:
LOU - Boman 10'
LOU - Schupansky 31'
LOU - Schupansky 40'
LOU - Boman 48'
LOU - Schupansky 64'
LOU - Dickerman 84'
IND - Soderstrom, K. 89'
IND - Mitchell 90'+  

- Bookings: 
IND - Bahr 56' (Yellow)

- Referee: - Matthew Adkins
- Adage goals: One

Thoughts and Opinions

Having clinched the Valley Division with their draw against Kings Hammer, Indy headed down to Louisville without any real divisional motivation other than pride and a desire to win the LIPAFC for the third time this season. Minnesota care of business on Saturday giving them more points per game than Indy, thereby solidifying their #1 spots in the Heartland division. The other top team to come out of the Central Conference, in the Great Lakes division, was Detroit City FC. When Indy took to the filed, Detroit was still playing their final game of the season too. However, it was looking like regardless of the results for Indy and Detroit, Indy was still going to have to face Minnesota Aurora. Due to the league rules about not having inter-division opponents in the playoffs, and the wild card team from the conference being River Light FC in the Heartland division, even if Indy finished with a better points per game than Detroit, they were still going to be the official #3 seed in the conference. So just like in 2022 and 2023, Indy have to start the playoffs on the road. 

I know I don't need to say this to anybody who has been following the USL W League version of LIPAFC, but I'm going to say it anyway. Louisville, who have a 1st division professional team in the NWSL, absolutely sucks in their coverage of their USL W team. A camera is, by all accounts, an upgrade from seasons past. A shaky camera that doesn't always follow the action and has only the wind destroying its mic as commentary technically qualifies as a stream of the game, but just barely. I'm really surprised they don't want to do better.

Now that's been said...

The first half of this game was one-way traffic in the wrong way if you're an Indy fan. Racing dominated every aspect. Indy defenders (at all levels) were forced to chase the ball as Racing passed it around them without much difficulty. When Indy did get good movements and touches, they were quickly undone by Racing defenders or bad bounces for Indy. They were outplayed, out efforted, and generally looked like a team that was disinterested in being there. That may seem harsh to say, but Indy did not compete in this game and that's something I've never thought I would say about this team. Racing players wanted it more, while Indy players were reactionary and slower. I think Indy had just a single shot in the first half and it wasn't close to being on target. They weren't threatening in any way, while Racing peppered Indy's goal time after time. The 3-nil halftime lead for Racing was well deserved. 

Then Racing came out of the halftime break and added another quick goal to further break Indy's spirit. Shortly after, Indy had a counterattack with Soderstrom and Chester. Soderstrom pulled the defenders, put the ball across the ball towards an unmarked Chester, and the ball ran out of her reach harmlessly across the endline. That single play perfectly summarized the day for Indy. Those are two of Indy's best players in a breakaway situation and they couldn't connect well enough to even get a shot, much less a shot on target. It was at that point that I resigned myself to the fact that there wasn't going to be any 2nd half miraculous finish for Indy. 

Indy's only other regular season loss came at the hands of St. Charles when Indy were the better team but couldn't buy a goal and STC had two opportunities and made good on both. This game was nothing like that game. Racing deserved this win, from the opening minutes to the late stages. The only solace Indy can take after their worst defeat in the league is that one of today's teams will be in the playoffs this week and it wasn't the winner of this game. They're trending in the wrong direction though.

After Indy's loss to STC last year, Indy went on a 7-game win streak to capture the league title. Whether they take today's loss into this year's playoffs as motivation or not will be determined later this week when the playoffs start. Indy are going to need to play significantly better against Minnesota than they played today if they want to advance further in the playoffs and defend their title.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Between the poor camera feed and the shadows that made it difficult to definitely distinguish every player particularly when they were on the far side of the field, as well as a 6-2 defeat, I think we'll forego the GBGB tonight.

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