The Utah Valley women’s soccer team not only scores goals on the rebound, they seem bent on rebounding as team from their 1-4 start. Prior to their last two games, the stats seemed to bear out the vision of a team learning as they go.
After winning two close games over the weekend against Idaho and Montana, the Wolverines are intent on building on their recent success. With games against Fordham and Baylor, both of which will be played in Texas, they will need all the confidence they can get.
“The more we play the more confident we’ll be and that’s going to be very important for a team this young,” coach Brent Anderson said. “No matter what happened in the non conference, preseason play I have never doubted that we will win our conference.”
“It’s the same with the girls, they all believe that we will win our conference,” Anderson said. “A lot of girls got healthy and they are learning how to play together.”
More than just confidence, they Lady Wolverines will need a short memory. With all their struggles early on, these players will need to forget that feeling and build on every success they achieve.
“I think the more success we have with these younger girls will make a huge difference,” said goalkeeper Lauren Sack. “Most importantly, when you get all that combined, it’s more fun to play the game. Not only is it more fun to win but we win when we have more fun,” Sack said with her trademark chuckle.
Chemistry will be a large part of their success in conference play, if the players learn to trust each other and their coach, then a lot more will fall into line in the win column.
They next play on Friday the 16th against Fordham in College Station Texas. Fordham is 3-3-1 on the season, having played the likes of Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St Johns already this season. Being on the road is not so bad for a young team.
“To be honest,” Anderson said. “I prefer playing on the road. We have a chance to stick together and focus. There’s no school, boyfriends, husbands, or anything like that. It’s just the team.”
The Wolverines may hope to sneak under the radar but they will get Fordham’s best effort. One of their wins this season has come against Stony Brooke, if anyone would have had a chance to sneak in and steal a win it would have been them.
Now comes the point in the season when the fans will find out if the tough early schedule was worth it. If it strengthened the team to where they can draw upon that experience and win a conference championship then everyone involved will look like geniuses.
If however they continue to struggle, it may be time to look at the philosophies of those at the top and figure out a way to be competitive at the outset.
Jonathan Boldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jboldt24