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Lady Blazers step it up this week

With the GSC tournament exactly one week away the Blazers Soccer team needs a key victory against West Alabama on Friday at home to stay at second place in the GSC.

In conference play the Blazers are 5-1-1 while the West Alabama Tigers are 4-2-1. A loss on Friday would put the Lady Blazers behind the Tigers in the GSC with one game remaining before the tournament.

That one game will be against one of the nation’s best teams, West Florida. It goes to show that Friday’s game can set up VSU nicely before the tournament, or have them disappointed heading into the last regular season game against the top team of the GSC.

Two weeks ago VSU traveled to Livingston, Alabama to play the Tigers in a game that did not count towards conference records. The Tigers had a 1-0 lead for more than half of the game, until Rebecca Miller scored on a corner kick from Caroline Moore, tying the score with just seconds left in regulation.

Neither team was able to score in overtime ending in VSU’s second tie of the season. Coach Melissa Heinz and the Lady Blazers take that game as a learning experience and hope it will help them win Friday.

“We don’t need to have a slow start,” Heinz said. “We’ve got to come out intense and ready to go. We have to remind the players how we showed up to play them at their place and how we were lucky to come away with a tie.”

Winners of two in a row, the Blazers will look to continue their recent success and get off to a quick start Friday.

 Blakely McClellan had a huge breakout game against Shorter Monday, scoring VSU’s second hat trick in school history. The first hat trick came last season when Leanne Bishop scored three goals against the same Tigers that come to Valdosta tomorrow.

McClellan and Bishop will need to play big if the Lady Blazers want to start fast.

With just two remaining games left to be played before the tournament, the Blazers could find themselves exuding confidence or wondering what went wrong.

All they do know is that Friday is arguably their most important game of the season with a lot riding on the outcome.

“It’s good for confidence for the tournament and it’s good for helping with placement in the tournament,” Heinz said. “Having good results is going to be crucial.”

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