Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GVL 1-1 FMFC: 173

Photo: Chris Norris

173. That’s the approximate amount of whiskey sours I’m fairly sure I drank after the match last night. In my wounded state today, it also seems to be the approximate number of games resulting in draws for Forward Madison this season. And while fans are frustrated, the Flock End was as loud as ever, and had me nursing a headache at halftime — something that hasn’t happened since 2019. I’d apologize for the late post, but I’m going to place the blame squarely on the aforementioned whiskey sours.

On the pitch it was a fairly end-to-end affair, Jake Keegan nearly scoring off a header in the 19th minute and only a minute later providing an assist for Derek Gebhard. Tyler Allen impressed on the night, showing multiple times his exceptional close control while being smothered by Greenville’s defense. The Triumph only forced one save from Breno, with 6 other shots off target. Eric Leonard scored an 8.1 rating on Fotmob and edged out Aaron Molloy for Man of the Match honours, bagging 7 clearances and 6 interceptions.

Cyrus Rad will likely be kicking himself today after directly contributing to Lachlan McLean’s equalizing goal. My friend and fellow Flock End drummer Dan astutely remarked on the run-up to Greenville’s goal and I tend to agree: “He was being pressed but had a clear lane to make a short pass to Enriquez. Breno can’t touch that with his hands and tried to chest it down and it went too far and right to the Greenville player. Easy finish. It was a mistake all around…and mistakes happen. That’s why pressing works in USL. We need to score more goals though.”

The point about pressing is spot on, and it’s why a high press is especially prevalent in lower leagues. Younger and less-experienced players tend to make more mistakes when put under pressure and we’ve seen over and over this season how costly those mistakes can be. It’s maddening the amount of goals we concede against the run of play, this one especially. When asked post-game last night, the gaffer didn’t mince words.

“We’ve been in the driving seat. It’s not like we’re not going to win the game. It’s just these last 10 minutes, something stupid goes on in an individual’s head. Sometimes that’s been a game official, and sometimes that’s been a Forward Madison player.”

Carl Craig

I don’t want to vilify Cyrus and I don’t think Carl was referring to his specific mistake; it’s symptomatic of a larger, season-long problem that we can’t seem to solve. Is it some kind of mental block? Did Lansing fans bury a cursed Ignite shirt under Breese? Is it inspired by a sporting partnership?

A Simple Solution

Occam’s razor is a problem-solving principle that states, “plurality should not be posited without necessity,” meaning that of two competing theories, the simpler explanation of an entity is to be preferred. As Dan intimated, scoring more goals would alleviate much of the hand-wringing and frustration. A 22 year old player likely won’t be as prone to the coercion of a high press knowing they have the cushion of a multiple goal lead, and being in an advantageous position only breeds more confidence. For a team with 21 games in its wake and a goal differential of 0, these guys need all the confidence they can get.

Time will tell if the team can turn it around and galvanize a playoff berth, we’re 1 point off 6th place so it’s still very much mathematically possible. Will they sharpen their resolve and find their groove playing the next five games away from home? For my sake I hope so, the Sunday morning hangovers are much easier to bear with 3 points in the bank.

Author

  • Andrew Schmidt

    Eclecticist, FMFC supporter, Flock co-founder, designer of things, and taker of photos. Writer, wrench, motorcyclist. Pro-intellectualist, anti-pedant. Drinker of coffee and greeter of dogs.

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