by Alex Tostado
This weekend, the VSU women’s soccer team welcomes Florida Southern and Florida Tech in hopes of winning the two games.
“We have to be really competitive on the ball and off of the ball,” VSU Head Soccer Coach Mel Heinz said.
Coach Heinz also said that increasing scoring from last season has been one of the team’s main focuses this summer. “Are we making the right decisions?” Coach Heinz said. “Are we putting the ball in the back of the net? Whatever team makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win.”
To accomplish this goal, it does not matter who the Blazers line up against as long as they stick to their game plan. “There is nothing to do differently for who we are playing, just how we want to play,” Coach Heinz said.
Coach Heinz and the rest of the Blazers will look to the lone senior on the squad, Emily Cooper, for leadership. “We are still early on and working together and trying to stay positive and keep learning,” Cooper said. “Leadership starts from how you perform, so I am just going to play as good as I can and lift the girls’ spirits and encourage them to do the right things.”
Cooper is going to be playing this weekend with a cast on her right wrist. She injured her hand after it was stepped on during practice.
Kayla Robles, freshman defender, stepped up her game to prove to the coaching staff and her teammates that she ready to fill a leadership role. “I know I’m a little freshman but I am going to be an impact,” Robles said. “I’m not going to be that little freshman that is going to be on the sideline. I want to be up at the top with the other girls.”
Robles admittedly did not know what to expect coming into her first college season, but she quickly took to helping her freshman teammates. “I tried to give them advice and tell them to work hard because Coach Heinz sees if you work hard,” Robles said.
Coach Heinz has confidence in her players that the first-game jitters will be kept to a minimum. “Our kids have so much pride at home, and they don’t want to disappoint their fans, so that probably adds the extra nervousness, but after the first 15 minutes, (the anxious feeling will) be gone,” Coach Heinz said.