A freshman starts a new chapter and a senior closes one today.
Senior Darren Yeagle and freshman Kevin Bick, both Louisville, Ky., natives, return home for their last and first trips, respectively, in cream and crimson.
Bick, a St. Xavier graduate will take the pitch today in Louisville against two former high school teammates, sophomore midfielder Jimmy Crick and freshman midfielder Ryan Smith.
“I’ve known Jimmy Crick since grade school,” Bick said about his relationship with his former teammate. “He’s a
family friend. But, it’s really exciting. It’s going to be a fun game. It’ll be a good experience going back.”
A No. 25 Hoosier squad, 7-5-1, takes the field against the No. 8 Cardinal team that has lost only twice this season. Before Louisville’s overtime loss to St. John’s last week, its only other defeat was 22 days earlier against Notre Dame.
With a dominating 9-2-2 record, the Cardinals have shut out their opponents in every win during regular season play.
However, IU coach Mike Freitag seems unfazed by the fact that the Cardinals have shut out all but one opponent they have a win against.
“They’re a good team,” he said. “That’s what that tells me.”
Although Bick had a chance to wear the red and white of Louisville, he chose instead to wear IU cream and crimson.
“It’s just a normal game,” Bick said. “They know why I chose Indiana. It’s just different. It’s no big deal. It’s just a game.”
Freitag said flip-flopping between conference and non-conference games is a part of the schedule and is necessary.
“You’ve got so many games in the season – you have to find those midweek games where you can play a strong game midweek,” he said. “Louisville will be a very strong one, and Notre Dame was a tough one last week.”
IU is 2-3 on the month with one of the losses coming from a Big Ten matchup against Michigan State. The double overtime loss to Michigan State marked the second extra-time loss for the Hoosiers in October, the first being an upset against Butler.
“We just have to come together as a team,” Yeagle said. “We missed a lot of opportunities ... but we just have to go out to practice and work on them.”
The senior forward is making his final trip to his hometown in an Indiana uniform. He is looking forward to returning to Louisville to show off his footwork.
However, Yeagle is not overlooking his hometown college team.
“It’s always good to go back home to your home city, but it’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “Louisville is good this year, so it’s going to be hard to beat them at their place.”
Yeagle said what the Cream and Crimson need to do differently against the Cardinals is one key word they have been saying all season: focus.
“We dominated the whole game (on Sunday), and for 10 seconds we just gave up and lost focus,” Yeagle said. “We need to focus for 90 minutes. That’s what it’s going to take.”