Putting the ‘toe’ in Tolen

In Thursday’s Herald-Times, I have a feature on the soccer Hoosiers’ Joe Tolen, who has accumulated two goals and two assists in the last four games, including the game-winner vs. Northwestern.

One thing I didn’t get a chance to touch on was Tolen’s love affair with practice. Ask what has helped him make the necessary adjustments over the last three seasons, and it’s not playing time, it’s practice — all apologies to Allen Iverson, but I am talking about practice.

“The experience always helps, but a big thing is just your training every day,” Tolen said. “Here in practice is just as hard as any game we have. We have some phenomenal players, some that don’t even get on the field, so with the high levels we have at training every day, it’s just getting me more ready every single day we take the field in practice.”

And his teammates see it, too. What stands out to Will Bruin?

“His passion. He loves it. He brings it out to practice every day,” IU’s leading scorer said. “Whether it’s a small-sided 5-v-2 or a big scrimmage, he brings it 100 percent. You can just tell it’s in his blood to be here, and he’s wanted to be here since he was young. Now is his opportunity, and he’s seizing it.”

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