With a soaking wet field and mild rain throughout the match, it was not one of those days that anyone would want to have a soccer game outside. The field was muddy, forcing players be quick on their feet and making ball play unpredictable
IU could not capitalize on two golden chances in the early stages of the game. After a handball from one of the Xavier players, Tanner Thompson missed a PK, and Femi missed a one-on-one chance against the Musketeers goalkeeper by placing the ball just barely wide left. It was the field conditions that played a large role in those misses, as players were still adapting early on in the game.
The first goal of the game came in right under the half-hour mark. It was a classic, straight to the point counter-attack from the Musketeers. The Hoosiers, however, found their equalizer with only five minutes after they fell behind. IU’s freshman defender Grant Lillard scored a header for the Hoosiers, ending his first season with an impressive five-goal total.
Tanner Thompson shows great potential:
Tanner Thompson was a difference-maker throughout the first half. He showed great on-field awareness, demonstrated when he took a lofted pass from left hand side of Xavier’s 18 yard box, switched to the right and found his teammate, senior Jamie Vollmer. Even though the touch was slightly too heavy and the ball rolled off the field, Thompson was able to read the play in a matter of seconds. His skills added versatility to the Hoosier offense throughout the game.
The turning point of the game would come on a diving tackle by Webb that resulted in a PK.
Lillard was trying to clear the ball away for the Hoosiers, but accidentally hit one of his teammates, causing the ball to change direction. Xavier’s forward made a run and created a one-on-one against goalkeeper Colin Webb. Webb decided to make the save, but brought down Xavier’s attacker simultaneously.
The yellow card went to Webb, setting up the ball 12 yards out from the net The kick was good, leaving IU 12 minutes to try and tie the game.
As I was watching the yellow card tackle play out from the press box, Xavier’s forward was at least 3 yards behind the ball. It was going to be incredibly hard for him to pull off a clean shot under the soaking wet field with enough velocity. Webb made a call to try and take the ball, but the ball was traveling faster than he predicted. The yellow card was justifiable for two reasons:
1. Webb brought down a player from the other team who arguably had a chance to score a goal.
2. Webb’s save was reckless and unnecessary, which means he likely intended to go for more than the ball
In short, Webb was lucky he didn’t get a red card, as one of those offenses would be enough to receive a yellow, let alone two. Although many fans may have been displeased with the call, in the end it was the right one. The Hoosiers were bounced from the first round of the NCAA tournament, leaving a lingering feeling of unrealized potential.
“Why can’t referees review calls in soccer?”
I spent some time on this topic during my Sunday night show with @TylerDarwick. Albeit the right call against Xavier, IU was also jipped during the Big Ten final vs Maryland. In stands to reason that referees should be able to review plays in soccer, just like they do in football, basketball and heck, even baseball now.
My take on this is like asking, ”should Twitter take away the word limit?” Sure, the word count does get in my way every once a while, but Twitter would simply not be Twitter anymore if you cancel the word limit. It just doesn’t seem…right. People then adopt little “idiosyncrasies” and create a style of writing just for tweets: such as hashtags, shorten links, etc. Soccer also developed some “tactics” for taking advantage of plain human site: such as diving, pulling the jersey to slow down a player, etc. The soccer might have to go through some fundamental changes, but the game will be better for it.
IU ends the season with a 12-5-5 record, marking the end of five seniors’ college careers. I am here with WIUX wishing you all a bright future. Thank you for a great season.
Follow Raymond on Twitter @RaymondWato and listen to him on B-side Sundays from 8-9 pm