Here are three things that stood out to me from IU's adidas/IU Credit Union Classic matches against No. 12 Marquette Sunday and No. 9 Georgetown on Friday:
• Riedford provides spark off the bench
Freshman midfielder Michael Riedford entered the match with 19 minutes and 38 seconds remaining in the first half against Marquette. Just over six minutes later, he scored his first career goal after tapping in a rebound near the right post. He also had a nice cross to fellow freshman Trevor Swartz in the 62nd minute, but Swartz couldn’t connect.
Riedford will be a valuable contributor off the bench going forward into the season because of his knack for following the ball, as shown in the rebound goal, and in his ability to create plays.
• Back line productive in both games
I’ve been writing a lot about the back line of the IU defense, but it’s something I think we should be paying close attention to as the season progresses. Out of the four players along that line, three of them have been newcomers in both Friday’s and Sunday’s game.
It conceded a goal early in the second half against Georgetown and ultimately the lead. Despite relinquishing the lead, though, the back line performed well enough to hold on for a tie, something that a more-experienced Hoosiers team from last season more than likely wouldn’t have accomplished. It faced a similar situation Sunday against Marquette, but appeared to learn from its mistakes as it preserved the 1-0 lead the rest of the match. The chemistry and communication appear to be getting better.
• Thompson continues to impress
Sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson had a solid Classic weekend. He didn’t score any goals, but he made plenty of plays that created opportunities for his teammates. Riedford’s rebound goal against Marquette was a direct result of Thompson firing a nice shot on goal right at Marquette goalkeeper Charley Lyon and the ball deflecting off Lyon’s hands. Thompson also had seven shot attempts – two on goal – between both games.
Against Georgetown, he was frequently moving the offense forward and making plays near the box in the attacking half.
His play at the attacking mid position will be key to this team’s success the rest of the season. The number of shots attempted and plays created by him show he is a crucial facilitator for this team.
Be sure to check out AllHoosiers.com later this week for a preview of the team's road matches against Kentucky and Dartmouth.