On a cold and chilly April night, the Indianapolis AlleyCats (1-1, 1-1 Midwest Division) squared off against MD preseason favorite Madison Radicals (1-0, 1-0 MD). The AlleyCats kept it close but in the end lost, 20-13. Head coach Eric Leonard said playing against a team like Madison is a good measuring stick for the rest of the season.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t measure up this time,” Leonard said. “We played pretty well, except for the disastrous 2nd quarter, where Madison built a large lead. We didn’t adjust well to their size or their lane poaches, and their defensive scheme exposed some weakness in our offensive unit.”
The AlleyCats did have a chance of taking the lead at the end of the first quarter when the game was tied at 5-5. After the first quarter, Travis Carpenter said his team had the advantage going into the second quarter.
“Then [Madison’s] defense really threw us in a loop,” Carpenter said. “They have a pretty unique defense so that really threw us off. They throw a lot of double teams and they had a lot of poaches.”
According to Whatisultimate.com, a poach is when a defender moves away from their mark and tries to intercept a pass. The Radicals and their defense only let the AlleyCats score one goal. Madison lead at halftime, 11-6. Carpenter said this is where Indianapolis fell apart.
“Madison got a string of breaks on us and we couldn’t really stop the bleeding,” Carpenter said. “That’s kind of where we lost the game. Madison is one of those teams where if you give them that big of a gape, most likely you’re not coming back.”
The Radicals never looked back and won the game 20-13. From this game, Leonard said two plays stood out to him.
“Peter Carleton got a block at the end of the first quarter, leading to a quick break to make it 5-5,” Leonard said. “It was a great hustle play and got our team fired up going into the second quarter. The other great moment was the first play coming out of the second half. We played suffocating defense and got a stall on their first possession, leading to another quick break.”
The AlleyCats return home for their last home game at Roncalli High School of the season on April 21. During their two weeks, Leonard said his team is going to focus on the basics.
“We made too many unforced errors against Madison,” Leonard said. “If we want to beat Pittsburgh we will have to clean up our play. We have to make the routine play.”
The game starts at 7:30 p.m. on April 21 at RHS in Indianapolis, Indiana against the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds.