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Photo by: Jeffrey Miller
Women’s soccer prepares for road-heavy season
August 16, 2017
With the beginning of the regular season just around the corner, the time has come to see if the work put in by the Nicholls State University women’s soccer team will come to fruition.
Since the end of last season, the team has been working hard in hopes of improving on last year’s 6-8-2 record.
“We’re coming to the end of preseason camp so they’ve been training multiple times a day for the last couple weeks,” said head coach Mac McBride.
McBride, who is entering his second year as coach of the Colonels also said that the team is working on building chemistry as well as conditioning.
The team will face a tough road schedule this season, which includes a stretch of seven straight games away from home. The Colonels struggled on the road in the 2016 season, posting a 1-6-1 record, but will concentrate on bettering it this year. “Last year, one of the things we found is that we really struggled when we went on the road,” coach McBride said. “It was an area of weakness. So, we could have run away from that or we could have met it head on, so we figured that we’d really test ourselves.”
While they struggled on the road, the Colonels found success at home. They posted a 5-2-1 home record last season, and there may be room for improvement this year with there being one more conference home game than last year. In their home exhibition game versus Texas Southern, Nicholls won 5-2.
With the team being smaller than it was last year, Coach McBride said he is excited about the new additions to the team and what they can bring to the table. Seven new players were added, forming newfound depth at goalkeeper, defender, midfield and forward. Coach McBride noted that he was “pleasantly surprised” by a couple of the new players and that they could see playing time sooner than he expected. These new players will work to fill the voids left by departing players.
He stated that the team is working on implementing three different formations for the upcoming season. Last year, the team played primarily in a 4-3-3 formation. The new additions will allow the team to be flexible in games where opponents have different formations. Coach McBride explained, “Basically that gives us three different strings to our bow, where as last year we didn’t have that, so we’ve probably got a little more utility to our game.”
Looking ahead at the season, Coach McBride explained that he wants the team to be competitive and difficult to beat. The Colonels were predicted to finish tenth out of twelve teams and Coach McBride said he wants to use that prediction to motivate the team. “Hopefully we can use that as a motivation and we can finish a little bit higher than everyone thinks we’re gonna finish.”
The Colonels will start the season on the road in Hattiesburg against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Friday. Their first home game will be on Sunday, August 20, against Mississippi Valley at 1 p.m. at the Nicholls Soccer Complex.