Hoosier Head Coach Mick Lyon Comments on the Upcoming Big Ten Tournament
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Bloomington, Ind. -The women's soccer team returns to the Big Ten Tournament this 2002 season after a three-year absence. The players on the Hoosier roster have never participated in postseason action and are ready for the challenge that Big Ten opponents will set before them. Indiana ended the regular season with an overall record of 10-6-2 with a 4-4-2 Big Ten mark. IU head coach Mick Lyon shared his thoughts on the tournament, the conclusion of the regular season and the team they will face in the first round of the tournament Thursday, Nov. 7 at noon - the Purdue Boilermakers.
What is the general attitude heading into East Lansing? What is your feeling, pre-tournament, how ready the team is?
"I think there is definitely an air of total excitement from the players and coaching staff. We are moving into unknown territory and you have that feeling of anticipation and excitement and a little adrenaline starting to build up. What we're hoping as coaches is that we can translate those feelings into performance on the field.
"In the past four days of training the players have been very smooth and there is an excitement among the players. We've been able to rest players significantly, so we're coming into this game very fit. The scene is really starting to set itself. Now we're going to focus in on the final details.
"We also feel pretty good and a slight advantage is that we've been training at one o'clock throughout the year. Physically, the girls' body clocks are used to performing around noon/one o'clock time. That's a little advantage. So, I know we'll be ready to perform at that time.
"What we've told the team is that we're three steps away from being in the NCAA Tournament. This is a realistic goal for us. We could get there and win a Big Ten Championship all in the same weekend. We're going to set our goals very high and go out and achieve them."
Can you evaluate the regular season. You've said you would have been extremely pleased with 14 wins, but in your first year here, did you expect this sort of commitment from your team and do you have a sense of excitement about the program?
"Yes. I think we're at the tip of iceberg. What's to come is everything underneath and it's massive. Absolutely massive. Our recruiting has gone fantastic. I'm sad to lose such talent from the senior class, but the returners, there's a ton of talent there as well. It leads to a tremendous feeling of excitement for the future."
On Purdue and facing them in the quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon -
"It's an instate rivalry. We felt like we didn't deserve to lose in Lafayette. We know we played extremely well against them, we match up well against them, we're very familiar with them. We feel that we're set and ready to go at them. I think you'll find we'll walk into that game with vengeance."
The Big Ten Tournament begins Thursday, Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. when No. 2 seed Michigan faces No. 7 seed Ohio State. Purdue and Indiana are set to face off at noon while No. 1 seed Penn State will face No. 8 Illinois at 3 p.m. and No. 4 seed Michigan State will take on No. 5 Wisconsin at 6 p.m. The winners of these games will resume play Friday, Nov. 8. Check back with iuhoosiers.com for complete coverage of IU in the Big Ten Tournament.