Experience will play big role on women’s soccer team

Despite having a shaky 6-13-1 season last year, the women’s soccer team remarkably pulled it together by winning the United Soccer Conference tournament. This was the first conference win for UVU women’s soccer. So what can be expected this year? Coach Anderson replied, “We’re looking to repeat as champions.” With only nine upper classman and 20 freshmen and sophomores, this year the wolverines look to achieve greater expectations by winning more games and repeating as conference champions.

Since all of the team’s starters remain, this season already looks promising. Six new freshmen signed on with the team. Anderson stated that, “each one of these players will add to our program and make us a more competitive team.”

Jenni Clough, the returning conference and tournament MVP, said, “I think we’ll do well. We have a lot more depth than we did last year, and the freshmen starting this year have shown that they can play.”

Though being young and inexperienced was a problem last year, it doesn’t seem to be a problem this year. Anderson says Mallory Schott, Brooke Salcido, and Jenni Clough are great captains. They have the team organized and ready to play. Being experienced conference champions “gives us an edge because these girls know what it takes to win a championship,” says Anderson.

Anderson pointed out that the teams they will be playing have recruited on a national level. They have more experience and are ranked higher. For a chance to compete with those teams, they’ll have to step on the field unified as a team. A possible weakness the team faces is size. Anderson says that’s apparent, but, “Whatever this team lacks in size they make up with speed and definitely their work ethic.”

When Shantae Adams-Yeates was asked how she personally got better, she replied, “I got married. It’s awesome. I love it.” Not only is this team prepared on the field, but they’ve also prepared themselves off the field. So does being married actually help you play soccer better? For Shantae, being married helps her focus more rather than being caught up in the social aspect. She says she’s more focused on what she is here to do, and that is playing soccer and getting an education.

You can get your chance to see these focused champs play their first season home game Aug. 30 at 11:00 a.m. against North Dakota on the Clyde Field in Orem.

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