It was a cat filled weekend for us up in Indianapolis. Our first two game weekend saw some differing themes and similarities. We faced the Bobcats of Ohio on Friday night and the Wildcats of Kentucky on Saturday. Both games featured frigid weather which garners a quick thank you to all the fans and parents (and grandparents) that braved the weather to come watch us play. That is true dedication. These games were our first real tests of the season and we learned a lot about where we are as a team.
Ohio – L 11-10 3OT
Boy this one was a doozy. If you want an example of an up and down game just look at the box score. We went down 6-1 in the first quarter after scoring the opening goal. Ohio was great at playing the team game. They weren’t necessarily better than us 1 on 1. But their movement off the ball killed us early in the game. Our defense was not communicating on cutters or two slides, and they capitalized. After the first quarter, with the exception of a few lapses, our defense was absolutely solid and cannot be blamed for how the game turned out. Offensively we took a lot of shots and simply couldn’t put them away. I think this was a mix of us not placing our shots well, and Ohio’s goalie having a very stout performance. We managed to pull within one going into halftime and had all the momentum on our side. The second half was almost a mirror image of the first, with the exception of a scoreless 3rd quarter. We went down 4 in the 4th and then tied it with a little over a minute to go. That began a 3 overtime stalemate. In the end one of their attackmen took advantage of an unsettled situation and ended the game.
Although the outcome was extremely disappointing, we grew a lot as a team this game. Our resiliency after going down so much early was great to see out of such a young team. We didn’t stop fighting until it was over. Goalie Peter Moore had an outstanding game making a lot of saves in key moments and bailing us out when our communication faltered. The offensive performance was hot and cold throughout the game. A lot of opportunities were given through mid to long range shots that weren’t buried. Personally, I didn’t change the plane of my shot enough and it led to a lot of lost possessions for the team. Overall, this game was a good learning experience for the early season. There are a multitude of positives and negatives the team will take away moving forward.
Kentucky – W 14-4
On Saturday we came out in the first quarter with a vengeance. A goal on our first possession sparked an 8 goal first quarter. We moved the ball well, communicated on defense, and finished our chances (something we didn’t do on Friday). Unfortunately after the first quarter our play turned stagnant and it became an ugly game. Whether it was fatigue from going 3OT’s the night before, or because we had a good lead, our play dropped off a lot after the first quarter. There isn’t really too much else to say about this one.
Overall thoughts on the weekend are that our goalie play was stellar, defense was vastly improved, and offense has a lot of growing to do. We have a huge weekend coming up when we begin GRLC play against a very solid Miami (OH) squad. We have to be focused from the beginning if we are going to come away with a victory. Then it doesn’t get any easier as we face Iowa and Mankato on Saturday and Sunday. Our last practice before spring break is tomorrow night after which we get a couple days to rest up and heal. We’ll leave everything on the field this weekend to earn our week off for spring break.
Elsewhere in Bloomington, a certain basketball team has their senior night tonight. This is going to be one of the most wild senior nights on record at Indiana. Jordy Hulls, Christian Watford, and Derek Elston will play their last game in Assembly Hall against Big Ten rival Ohio State. The atmosphere is going to be electric (as always) especially with the Big Ten title at hand. These three have created some really special moments during my first two years here at IU. The Wat-Shot, Jordy’s absolutely reckless spur of the moment 3’s, and Elston’s Tipton tornado during the tournament last year are all great memories. These three have helped lead the comeback for IU basketball and we are all thankful for what they have done. Another interesting note is the speculation that tonight may also be Zeller and Oladipo’s final night at Assembly. I think that is a definite possibility I am just hoping it isn’t true. Zeller is been rock solid this season as expected, but I feel like Oladipo stole the show this year. He has been playing out of his mind. Losing these 5 players would create a very intriguing story line for next season. But we’re still going so I’m not going to focus on that yet. When it comes to Gonzaga being named number 1… meh. I’m not worried about it. Our #1 seed is all but locked up for the big dance as long as we do what we need to do in the Big Ten tournament.
For music fans, you probably have heard of “This is Indiana.” It has become somewhat of our basketball theme song here. But recently middie Kurt Chessman showed me this remix that is pretty impressive. It’s a little busy at times with a lot of different styles but overall makes for a good pregame tune. Check it out:
I’m excited to discuss some more general lacrosse topics next week during spring break. How did you like Haggerty’s guest post? I plan on doing more of those as the season goes on. I’m always looking for feedback for the blog. If there is specific content you would like to see don’t hesitate to contact me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter. Is there a topic you would like to see more posts on? One you don’t like? Let me know. Until next time everyone, Go Hoosiers.