by: Alex Tostado
Valdosta State women’s soccer (3-0-1) hits the road for the first time this season as they make stops at Gulf South Conference opponents Delta State (1-3) on Friday afternoon and Christian Brothers (3-0-1) on Sunday afternoon.
VSU is 1-0-1 this season in the GSC after a double overtime tie with Union and a 3-0 win over Alabama Huntsville this past weekend.
The Blazers admittedly did not play their best in the tie against Union and have been working physically and mentally to ensure they do not take an opponent lightly.
“We are still hugely motivated since the Union game,” Head Coach Mel Heinz said. “We are still going to gnaw on that (Union) game that should have ended in a win… and we are also going to remember that each game is important and 90 minutes need to be played.”
So far this season, CBU is outscoring its opponents 12-1.
“It’s shocking that (CBU) fall(s) in the polls every year,” Coach Heinz said. “They are a very strong team and clearly they have done good so far.”
Heinz and the Blazers want to make sure they stick to their game plan this weekend.
“I would say that going into each match strong, making sure we stay focused, we are prepared and when we step on the field we play all 90 minutes (will bring us a victory),” junior goalkeeper Olivia Mills said. “(We need) to stay confident in our abilities and put the results on the board early and keep it that way. We know we can win. We know we have the capabilities.”
Sophomore midfielder Margaret Stauffer knows how important each game is and doesn’t find any excuses.
“We are a team that wins,” Stauffer said. “We are not intimidated by any other team or their success because we are focused on what we are doing and we know that we are going to succeed.”
Stauffer and the rest of the team realize that more goals need to be scored and they have been working on that this week.
“We are working on being more connected up front and to our (midfielders),” Stauffer said. “We are working on triangles and easy passes so we can break pressure with the long pass. (We also work) on team chemistry.”�
The Blazers dropped out of the NCAA Top 25 rankings in the nation after last weekend’s performance and the attitude of the team is disappointed yet motivated.
“I think we have to get back in check with us,” Heinz said. “We’ve got to play well and we’ve got to win games for us. If we do that, then we will get rewarded, not just on the field and in our conference and for our university, but I think nationally we will start getting attention.”
Mills is upset about the news but knows that there are still a lot of games to be played this season.
“(The team is) frustrated because we know we deserve to be in the top 25,” Mills said. “It was pretty bitter learning that (we dropped out) but at the same time, it just lights our fire even more.”
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