On a weather-perfect day the Bisons battled Louisville, from the Big East Conference, to a 0-0 tie in the first half. All three goals were scored in the second half with defender Garrett McLaughlin scoring for the Bisons and forwards Brent Rosendall and Mark Knight scoring for the Cardinals.
More than 180 fans were on hand for the game Saturday at the Bisons soccer practice field on Franklin Pike.
“For it being as early as it is, it was not a bad game,” said Morrow. “We are still recovering from preseason workouts. It was not a bad start at all. We can definitely take some things away from this game and build on them. We got what we wanted to out of the game.”
McLaughlin played for the Nashville Metros this summer, earning their defensive player of the year award.
“Garrett has been playing well,” said Morrow.
One area of major interest to Morrow was how some of his veteran players would react to playing in new positions. The Bisons are only missing one starter from last season, but Morrow is using this time to shift some pieces around on the field.
Evan McGee played center back for the first time for the Bisons. Andre Santos played in the middle after being on the outside in the past. Jeremy Reid played in the middle for the first time as well. Zack Langden also moved to a middle position after playing on the outside previously. Chase Nieri moved to the midfield from the back row on defense.
“There has been a lot of shifting,” said Morrow. “It was good to see those guys in different roles and see how they would respond. We definitely got some answers to some questions we had coming in. Those answers will dictate how we move forward as to what they can and can’t do.
“I thought Andre and Garrett played well,” said Morrow. “Andrew Chamberlain was hit-and-miss. He helped create a goal-scoring opportunity in the second half, but we definitely need him to be more consistent.
“Jeremy definitely played a great game. He was strong defensively. He rarely gives the ball up.”
Morrow played every available player on the roster, worrying more about what they would look like in a game situation than whether the Bisons won or lost.
Brent McGee started in goal followed by Patrick Walsh and Joey DeRosa. One of the goals was scored against Walsh and one was scored against DeRosa.
“We gave up two goals, but I don’t feel bad overall about the defensive effort,” said Morrow. “What I am most upset about is that the two goals we gave up were due to unforced errors. That is just unacceptable.
“It will be good for our guys to go back and look at the tape. For the most part our defensive effort was pretty good. I would still like to see us close down plays a little quicker.”