By Jonathan Boldt
Assistant Sports Editor
For individuals there are certain ages where it’s time to see the doctor even if there is nothing wrong. 40 marks an age where routine checkups become required to maintain optimum health and vitality. In some cases these routine checkups lead to detection and treatment of issues that could have turned out to be much worse.
As the Wolverines soccer team prepares to close out the final game before conference play begins, it is time for their mid-season checkup to get their pulse, check their blood pressure, and make them say “aahhh.”
There is some good news and some bad news, words a patient always hates to hear. Starting with the bad news. They are 4-6 prior going into last weekend’s home game against Montana. Even with a win, they will begin Great West action below .500.
“Losing is never fun,” head coach Brent Anderson said. “We are all competitors and we believe going into any game we can win. So whenever we don’t achieve that, it’s tough to deal with at times.”
After two bounce-back wins last weekend the Wolverines dropped their next two against Fordham and Baylor, 4-2 and 2-1 respectively, before winning 5-1 against Idaho St.
Now for the good news. The Wolverines have only given up four more goals than they have scored while being outshot by 61 attempts. This can be a double-edged blade however, as they are shooting a better percentage than their opponent but are allowing significantly more shots than they themselves are getting.
As the old adage goes, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” or in this case, the shots you don’t get.
Coach Anderson knows what he is dealing with and, just like a good doctor, can see the symptoms aren’t the problem itself.
“With a young team it’s important to not get too up or too down,” Anderson said. “It’s easy to think you are better or worse than you really are. Not getting enough scoring chances has a lot to do with confidence and as the girls get more time together they will execute with more precision.”
One advantage the Wolverines have heading into conference play is that they play in a weak conference. The teams they have been playing up to this point are significantly better than what they will face in the weeks to come.
Scheduling the stronger competition is something that is done on purpose.
“Playing against strong teams is a good way for us to sharpen our skills and get a chance to be in pressure situations,” Anderson said. “That adversity will help us to come together as a team and learn to trust each other.”
Jonathan Boldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter @jboldt24.