Salisbury’s women's soccer team finished just an average 9-9 last season. Despite losing multiple key seniors, this year's team has come out the gates with one goal in mind.
Winning the conference championship.
They have started out the year 8-4-1, with three of their four losses finishing with a score of 1-0.
Junior forward Kristen Ging says this team's drive is just different.
“We never give up, even if the game seems out of reach we always fight to the last minute,” Ging said. “Even if we go against the best team in the nation, I'm confident to say that we will work harder than that team.”
Two time CAC Coach of the Year Kwame Lloyd’s favorite thing to tell the players is to play to their greatness, not to play down to the opponent or situation, but to play to how great he knows each player is.
“I would put this group right now against anyone because of the work they do away from the field,” Lloyd said. “When we play to our greatness, there is very little other teams can do against us.”
Coach Lloyd sees how fellow teams at SU, like men’s and women’s lacrosse, make it to NCAA championships year after year. His goal is to make women's soccer one of these teams.
Arriving at the midpoint of the season, every win is key for tournament placement.
Players will need to manage their physical and mental exhaustion from all of their traveling, training and school work.
Luckily, Coach Lloyd has some strategies.
“The biggest thing is just finding fun ways to implement what you are trying to do in that training session,” Lloyd said. “If we can do fitness with a ball rather than run 100 meters, we can do different ways to make it fun for them.”
Ging says finding that balance is hard. You want to be the best soccer player you can be, yet at the same time you want to succeed in school and be the best scholar you can be.
“You want to put all your focus into the games and preparing because you know how important the conference games especially are,” she said. “But you are also a student too, and our coaches make it a priority that school comes first.”
The team has their next game on Saturday Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at Mary Washington.
By KAI BENDER
Featured Image Courtesy of Kai Bender