Union University’s women’s soccer team is ramping up the intensity for the upcoming season. With a dozen new players and 13 returning players, they have their eye on the prize and are more focused than ever.
Last season they missed the conference tournament by only a few goals, finishing seventh in the Gulf South Conference. The tournament only takes in the top six teams.
This year the conference’s preseason coaches poll predicted an eighth place finish for the Lady Bulldogs.
“We kinda have a chip on our shoulder,” Kaleigh Patterson, senior public relations major and team captain, said when reflecting on last season, “and we’re eager to get out there and prove everybody wrong.”
The team’s practices have been more intense this time around.
“One of our core values is ‘positively focused,’ so we really worked on the focus core value that we have,” Isaac Brooks, head coach, said. “Now our focus going into practice, since we worked on it last year, is amazing. . . This year the core value that we’re really focusing on is ‘confidently competitive’.”
The new players stepping onto the field this season are helping the team step up their competitive vibe even more.
“They’re[new players] ready to jump right in and they’re not scared to step up and be a leader, even if they are the youngest ones on the team,” Patterson said.
“They’re all solid players. . . it ups the level of practice, which prepares us more for the game,” Brooks said. With all of the positive affirmation, it seems that the new players will have no problem achieving the competitive standards that the team has set for themselves this year.
The Lady Bulldogs have shown that confidence and focus in their first two exhibition games, winning both by at least two goals.
The team will have a chance to meet their ambitions and beat the competition this season. The first game of the season is on Sept. 2 at McKendree University.