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IU Soccer Shakes Off Rust in 1-1 Draw with Saint Louis

In each and every spring match IU plays, IU coach Todd Yeagley said the Hoosiers would have different goals they will try to achieve.

Saturday night, Yeagley said they wanted to work on their communication, transition, trapping and recognizing certain scenarios where they had a numbers advantage. Overall, Yeagley said he liked his team’s transition and trapping, but thought the other two areas could have used some work.

In the end, it is just an exhibition in which IU and Saint Louis battled to a dull 1-1 draw, which saw two goals come from outside the run of play. Griffin Dorsey scored IU’s lone goal on from the penalty spot.

“We were a bit rusty, somewhat to be expected,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said. “Certainly we always want to be playing at our best, but in our rhythm and what we’ve been doing we were kind of where I thought we might be.”

In the starting XI were a few faces that weren’t main contributors a season ago. The midfield was mostly the same, aside from redshirt freshman Joe Schmidt starting on the right wing. Regular starters from 2017 surrounded him.

The new faces came at the striker position and in the back line. Up top it was Justin Rennicks who figures to be a key cog in IU’s plans in 2018. The center back duo was two players that didn’t touch the field last year in AJ Palazzolo and Jacob Meier.

Timmy Mehl came in once the second half started, but in the first half, he was impressed by the young center backs even if there were a few teaching moments throughout.

“AJ had some good communication and had a good edge tonight and handled most situations pretty well,” Yeagley said. “Jake is still getting his feet underneath him and has a ways to go, but it was good to get him into the game and feel what a start feels like.”

On the opposite side of the pitch was Rennicks. He was a player who played sparingly off the bench last season and even played some good minutes in the College Cup Final. But Saturday was a glimpse of his versatility. He played up top and he played the 10, two spots he figures to play moving forward.

After the game, Rennicks described what type of player he is on the pitch. He said he likes to run, dribble at people and just be a “normal forward.” His teammates see a player who can be a big contributor moving forward.

“I think Justin’s really good,” IU midfielder Trevor Swartz said. “Going into next fall and the rest of the spring, you guys will see what we’ve been talking about. He’s a really good player and I think will be an easy replacement.”

Whatever happens in 2018, there’s a good chance Saturday will be quickly forgotten. There were some good performances, but it was mostly the Hoosiers getting their feet back underneath them. Yeagley said he was much quieter on the bench because he wanted his players to figure out some situations.

One of the strengths of IU in 2018 will be its experience. There are plenty of seniors on the team and they will be relied upon to produce.

Still, there is a lot of value in the rest of the spring season. IU has matches against Butler, Notre Dame and the Mexico Youth National Team upcoming. It’s a chance for Yeagley and the Hoosiers to iron some details before August rolls around.

“Every game we’re going to go into with a different set of goals based on the personnel we’re putting out there and the opponent,” Yeagley said. “I really wanted them to solve some things on the field and they did that at times and other times I think we were slow at recognizing.”

I am a senior from Seattle, Washington majoring in Media. I am formerly of the Indiana Daily Student where I covered Indiana men’s soccer team and women’s basketball. You still can find me broadcasting for WIUX Student Radio and on BTN Student U outside of The Hoosier Network. Former intern at 710 ESPN Seattle and broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. Email: Follow me on Twitter: @JoshEastern.

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