Written by: Alex Tostado
Six of the eight eligible women’s soccer teams remain alive to battle it out for the rights to the Gulf South Conference Tournament title.
The tournament begins today when the No. 5 seed, North Alabama, takes on in-state rival and No. 4 seed, West Alabama. No. 3 seed, Valdosta State, will take on the No. 6 seed, University of Alabama-Huntsville, in the night cap.
West Florida comes into the tournament as the favorites after posting a record of 12-0-3 (9-0-1). The No. 3 team in the nation is also playing host to the tournament for the fifth straight year.
Christian Brothers, No. 2 seed, along with UWF will have a first round bye and will not play until tomorrow.
The matchup between VSU 9-3-3 (5-2-3) and UAH 4-9-5 (2-6-2) is one that head coach Mel Heinz and the Blazers are not taking lightly. Coach Heinz saw her No. 3 seeded Blazers in 2012 get knocked out in the first round of the tournament by a No. 6 seeded West Georgia.�
“We are the three seed; they are the six seed… Let’s act like a third seed,” Coach Heinz said. “Let’s pass well, let’s shoot more; let’s do everything better.”
The path to a GSC title is not an easy one, but according to Heinz, it can be done.
“We already know that the teams we are getting ready to play (UAH, CBU and possibly UWF) we have beaten or tied,” Coach Heinz said. “Confidence-wise, we need to take from that and say, ‘Look, it can be done; you’ve got to do it again, but if you can do it once, you can do it twice.’”
Coach Heinz has a lot of confidence in her squad this season and believes there is no reason the Blazers cannot win.
“[I have been telling the players] that you are the higher seed,” Coach Heinz said. “[I am telling them] to use our strengths and remember our strengths and do what we do. Pass better, shoot more, play hard and win every 50-50 ball.”