The men’s soccer team has started slow in the first halves and ended strong in the second in each game this spring.
That got IU coach Todd Yeagley talking about playing the same throughout a game’s entirety.
“Consistency is something we talk about,” Yeagley said. “That’s why in every activity that we do in training, we cannot allow them to have periods.”
The Hoosiers, 1-0-1 this spring, will get another shot to display that consistency when they play host to IU-Purdue University Indianapolis today at 7 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
In a 2-1 victory against Louisville on March 28 and a 1-1 tie with Cincinnati on April 9, IU surrendered a goal in the first half and answered with scores of its own in the second.
Yeagley said the goal is to overcome a tendency to be out of sync, as in the first half against Cincinnati.
“There are going to be times that we’re not going to have our game,” he said. “We’re going to be out of flow, and teams are going to be sharper. What I would’ve liked is to see them solve that a little bit quicker on the field."
However, the continued experimentation with players in different positions, a priority during the spring season, could have an effect on the team’s striving for consistency, Yeagley said.
“We know there are going to be some mistakes made, whether it’s positional mistakes or technical errors or whatever it might be,” he said. “We’re trying to be patient. However, we do want things to happen a little bit quicker.”
Much of that experimenting has occurred in the midfield and on defense, where freshman goalkeeper Luis Soffner noticed positive changes in the Hoosiers’ most recent outing.
“The defenders have been pressuring the forwards and not letting them turn and come at us,” Soffner said after the Cincinnati game. “In the second half, especially, we really did that.”
Yeagley traced the issues to youth as well. Midfielders, sophomore Tyler McCarroll and freshman Jacob Bushue, got their first significant minutes at IU.
“I thought Jacob Bushue, in particular, came in and did a real nice job,” Yeagley said.
“Here’s a kid that still would be in his last semester of high school. He came in and was confident. He has bite to his game and gave us a lift. I thought he and Tyler McCarroll, in the second part of the first half, changed our momentum a little bit to the positive.”
Yeagley said whatever the causes, the team will need to show more consistency in
“That’s something that we’re going to talk about, trying to get a few more individuals in key spots, when we’re not finding that rhythm, to help us do so,” he said.