This archived article was written by: Megan Fietkau
The afternoons and long weekends of soccer settled down as the Eagles remain in their nest until spring. Now, there is time for the players and coaches to gather thoughts of this past season.
Like any other sports team, the women had different strengths and weaknesses that was either an advantage or disadvantage to them.
The biggest strength for the women was the way the team came together and allowed each other to grow close and unified from the first week on campus. “We really were like a family,” assistant coach Cole Davis said.
Compared to previous teams the Eagles had, this year’s group of women was more disciplined and close knit which ultimately made the dynamic better on and off the field.
“It really helped us get through the hard times we [experienced] this year,” Davis said.
From injuries, hard-hitting games and tragedies that fell upon the team mid-season, the women came together to lift each other up. Win or lose, positivity became a key element to make the season successful because of the “soccer family” that was shaped.
Every match was important and every practice was treated as a time to prepare and improve for the next game. But on the flip side of things, with every strength, there is a weakness.
The talent of every woman on the team was phenomenal, but one thing that really brought the team down was not being able to play at a constant level for all 90-minutes of the game.
“We would play about 70-75 minutes of good quality soccer, but would have 20-25 minutes where we would have breakdowns and silly mistakes that punished us,” Davis said.
Not being able to “[possess] the ball up the field” during the entirety of the match is a “huge factor in the success of a team,” sophomore team captain Ashley Christensen said.
Constant improvement was being exhibited every training session and game while each player responded with positivity to committing to make themselves and each other better.
Although the soccer season may be over, its still “go time” for the USU Eastern coaches. The focus shifts from preparing for game day to intense preparation for the next year.
“I have to shift my focus to developing the players we have now for next year, and recruiting the right kids to create a [new] team and atmosphere we would like to [see],” said Davis.
Extensive thought and analyzing takes place during the off-season. At times, it is sometimes more busy that during conference play.
Weekends of road trips, high school tournaments, interviews and phone calls possess the time of the coaches. The preparation is long, but hopes are high.