IU opens at home after Notre Dame
By Dennis Glade
The No. 18 Hoosiers (0-0-1) will look to shake off some of the rust they showed in their double-overtime tie at Notre Dame on Saturday and will try to win the event for the first time since 2005.
IU Coach Todd Yeagley feels there is a correlation between his team’s offensive output and defensive intensity.
“We need to have better pressure. Our defensive pressure was really sub-par, and the team is aware of that,” Yeagley said. “A lot of our pressure defensively puts us in good shape offensively and creates opportunities.”
The Hoosiers will play St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Dayton at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Sophomore midfielder Harrison Petts said the team’s ability to play at a high level on both sides of the ball without compromising one or the other will be the key to the team’s success this weekend.
“That’s the thing we have to balance. Once we win the ball, we need to pick and choose our times to go forward instead of trying to go forward every time,” Petts said.
One challenge Yeagley and his coaching staff will be dealing with all season is the youth of the Hoosiers roster, but that is something Yeagley feels will be helped by playing in front of the home crowd on Friday night.
“It’s a different anxiety. Sometimes you have to calm them down a little bit when you have this kind of excitement,” Yeagley said. “We’re going to be flying on Friday.”
At practice Wednesday, senior defender Tommy Meyer stressed the importance of not only pressuring the ball but also possessing it for long periods of time.
“We want to keep the ball in the opponents’ half for most of the game,” Meyer said. “Notre Dame had the ball a lot. They’re a
possession-oriented team, but so are we. We didn’t do a good enough job last game keeping the ball, and that’s something that we have gone over all week.”
While Yeagley has stressed watching films this week to correct the mistakes from Saturday and plan for St. Louis and Dayton, he knows his team needs to focus on what is right in front of it.
“Our focus is on us,” Yeagley said. “We’ll know the tendencies of both of those teams. We have to make better decisions on the final third. We have to pass the ball better. We’re looking for a consistent performance, better decisions, decision making and having a killer instinct.”
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