Written by: Alex Tostado
Blazer soccer is ready to pick up where they left off last season.
The Blazers are coming off of a 13-5-2 season which ended in a first round loss at the NCAA Tournament.
Third year Head Coach Mel Heinz is eager to get her girls back on the field to compete for a Gulf South Conference title.
“Every game is going to matter and if we show up every game and play it to win and play it to win bigger than (a tie), and we are going in with confidence… I feel like any time you have that going into bigger games, you can pull out a win,” Coach Heinz said. “In the GSC preseason polls, we are ranked second… People recognize that we work hard and have some talent.”
Heinz is proud of the upperclassmen on the team for their leadership. There are 15 juniors and only one senior on the team.
“They have been great,” Heinz said. “The freshmen remember when they were (upperclassmen in high school) and we need them to step up, and they have.”
VSU lost its scoring leader in Rebecca Miller in the offseason. Miller, who has transferred to UGA, also led the team in shots, points and was tied for the team lead in assists.
“Nobody is going to fill Miller’s shoes, and our kids know that,” Heinz said. “A lot of people turned to Miller to say, ‘we need you’ but a lot of the kids are coming and stepping up and they feel like now it’s their chance.”
VSU plays its first four games at home, as well as six of its first eight games.
“Being at home feels good and we want to make our community proud and being at home brings a little extra pride,” Heinz said.
“We need to score more,” Heinz said. “I think we put ourselves in some situations that we didn’t take over the game immediately and when you keep the score close its room for error and room for losing a game that you should not lose. We can’t be content with just winning by one.”
VSU wants to get back on the field and give back to the fans that support them every game.
“We have some thank yous to do and we know that thank yous come with wins, at least in this town,” Heinz said.