Monday, November 23, 2009

Mixed results

I had little time to watch sports this weekend, which was generally a good thing because there wasn't a lot of good news for fans of Hoosier teams. There were a couple of standout events, tho-

1) IU Soccer moves to the 3rd round. One of only two Big Ten teams to get to the Sweet 16, the Hoosiers avenged last year's loss to Butler, beating the Bulldogs 1-0. This looked like a pretty classic Mike Freitag win, with solid defense and just enough offense to move up. It is very good news that the defense is finally solidifying, as a lack of composure has been plaguing the Hoosiers all year, and if the defense stays tough and Darren Yeagle & Will Bruin start getting consistent help from Eric Alexander & the rest of the midfield, who knows? Maybe IU can spring an upset at North Carolina and be playing for yet another NCAA College Cup berth.

2) The Colts extended their regular season winning streak with a little more luck than pluck. The Ravens couldn't finish in the red zone, and the Colts dodged any miracle finishes due to a fumbled punt return that essentially ended the game. The Colts could actually pass the Patriots' streak with a winnable three-game stretch coming up (Houston, Tennessee, and Denver) but need to tighten up on both sides of the ball.

The bad news was that Purdue again won the Oaken Bucket challenge, and that the Hoosier basketball team went 0-3 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. George Mason banked in a three-pointer with less than a minute to break a tied game. The last-place finish, where the feeling is a couple of games got away that the Hoosiers should have won, have other fans feeling not so down about the team. I feel like a couple of opportunities were lost here, and these Hoosiers have got to put in some work now. Nobody's starting job should be safe- Watford needs to be more consistent on the boards, Pritchard has been near-invisible, Creek has yet to learn how to play good defense, and Jones & Rivers are shooting poorly while coughing up the ball. Northwestern State is up next, and then Maryland comes to town. The Hoosiers need to do a lot better if they hope to have any chance against the Terps.

I did find a quality soccer blog, which is a little rare. For the latest chatter on the Men's national team, College Soccer, or even last night's MLS championship game (congrats Real Salt Lake), check out Soccer by Ives.


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