Updated: Aug 24
Indy Eleven are moving onto the USL W League Finals! You heard that right folks! OUR LADIES IN BLUE DONING THE LADY VICTORY ARE IN THE USL W LEAGUE FINALS! It didn’t come easy, however. Despite an early goal in the 14th minute from Addie Chester, San Francisco Glens SC came back to tie it in the 40th. The first half was the most well-balanced half I’ve seen in the past 2 years. Both sides refused to give up & applied pressure the entire first 45. The crowd was nonstop noise and caused communication issues for both sides. The second half would be more of the same. Non-stop pressure, persistent attacks, & noise. In the 50th minute, Maddy Williams collected a ball from Sam Dewey and put it in the back of the net. The crowd erupts & gets even louder. The next 14 minutes were well contested by the Glens. I was standing within the BYB and had the feeling that they would get one back and tie it. Sure enough, in the 64th minute, they did just that. The remainder of regulation was contested well by both sides, but both defenses held strong. I leaned over to tell someone around the 85th minute “this game is going into & we need to get even louder right now.” All match long, the BYB and close to 2,000 fans were just as persistent in making noise as the teams were in attacking. This didn’t stop.
“The 4th official has announced, 2 minutes of stoppage time.” The ball got played into the box with a service from Williams right in front of the BYB. The ball finds Maisie Whitsett just a few yards away from the goal. I was so focused that I swear I could have heard a pin drop in the building. Watching back, this was not the case. Maisie heads the ball up and back towards the middle. Incoming is Alia Martin! She catches the ball with her head and pops it towards goal. The Glens goalie stretches and leaps. The ball just misses her fingertips and slips under the post. IT GOES IN! IT GOES IN! THE CROWD ATTEMPTS TO BLAST THE ROOF OFF THE BUILDING! Indy takes the lead late in the 91st minute. “I love being wrong,” I said to myself. A minute later the final whistle would blow, and this semi-final would be complete.
The ladies would then take a full lap around the field thanking some 2,000 fans in attendance for their support. Amidst the lap, it was announced that Indy would be hosting the 2023 USL W League Finals against North Carolina Courage U23 at The Mike on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 2:00pm ET. The ladies concluded their lap in front of the BYB as the section sang “We Love You, We Love You, We Love You, & Everywhere We’ll Follow, We’ll Follow, We’ll Follow. Because We Support Eleven, Eleven, Eleven & That’s The Way We Like It, We Like It, WE LOVE IT!” The Ladies on the pitch jumping around, squirting their water bottles, smiling & singing along before heading into the locker room to go through their post-match routines.
It was a night many dreamed of. Sure, the women’s side is only in their 2nd season, but for a lot of members of the BYB and fans not apart of the BYB, they have been dreaming of hosting a league final since 2011. The last time we saw the crest in a final was 2016 in New York against the Cosmos in the NASL league final where unfortunately we saw the men take defeat. But now, we get to host. Indianapolis gets to host yet another national championship to add to their list of many over the years. Super Bowl hosts, Final Four hosts, Big Ten Football/Basketball (Men’s & Women’s) hosts, National Swimming Championships, Pan-Am Games, & now, for the first time, Indianapolis gets to play host to a soccer championship. The BYB will get to “Cue The Smoke” for the Girls In Blue for just the 2nd time in 2 seasons.
This Saturday is a double header with the women at 2:00 and the men at 7:00. The men will take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies and hope to end the night on a super high. One ticket will get you in both matches. But jump on it quick as tickets are selling fast & the club is expecting a sellout. Personal opinion, if you can only make it to one of the 2 matches, make it the women’s final at 2:00pm. You can purchase your tickets at https://www.ticketmaster.com/indy-eleven-vs-tampa-bay-rowdies-indianapolis-indiana-07-22-2023/event/05005E25B30424AE.
Is the match sold out? Can't make it for other reasons? Don't worry, ISC Sports Network has you covered. Head over to https://www.youtube.com/live/EkJeVFaPm7s?feature=share to watch the match.