By Ryan Libby |Staff Writer|
The women’s soccer team hoped to secure a spot in the playoffs and 2nd place in the South Division going into the weekend.
Coming into the match against Chico State on Friday, the Lady Coyotes ranked fourth in their division, just two points behind Cal State L.A. for second.
If the Coyotes manage to win each of their next two games, they would qualify for an automatic bid to the CCAA tournament.
With two important games this weekend and two more games just as important next weekend, women’s head soccer coach Travis Clarke is doing everything he can to keep the team relaxed in practice.
“They just do things to kind of lighten the mood a little bit. Especially with the women’s soccer team, the stress of being 2nd place and maybe making the playoffs and all of the other things that come along with these next four games,” said Clarke. “We try to take their mind off of that and that’s what our training sessions have been like recently.”
Different warm-ups in practice have the ladies playing Tag and Red light, Green light as well as other kinds of games to keep practice fun.
Coach Clarke didn’t seem too worried about Friday’s game against Chico State and their top scorer Scotie Walker, citing defense as the source of possible victory.
“We have one of the best defenses in the conference,” Clarke said.
“I think we’re just going to play how we play.”
Their counterattack style offense relies heavily on the team’s strong defensive stands, as the Coyotes have the 5th best defense in the CCAA conference allowing just under one goal per game.
However, the Lady Coyotes struggle when they have to come from behind, and with a record of 2-5-1, it is important for them to score early.
“We don’t score many goals. We don’t give up many goals, so for us it is pivotal that we don’t give up the first goal,” said Clarke.
When the team is able to score first, their record jumps to an unbeaten 5-0.
Sunday’s game against Cal State Stanislaus looked to be a bit tougher.CSUSB’s defense would have to stop a team that scores 2.5 goals per game.
Already on paper it seemed as if the Coyotes were behind because their offense scores 1.21 goals per game.
Both defenses are evenly matched with the Warriors of Stanislaus ranking just ahead of CSUSB.
Being patient seems to be the key to the game for the Coyotes.
“We’re a counterattacking style team so our main strategy is to let them come at us and then when they make a mistake we counter attack and we’re really fast,” said Clarke.