SF State’s women’s soccer team recorded a league-worst 10 goals over all 18 games of last season.
This time around, women’s head soccer coach Jack Hyde made one thing clear: It’s time to score some points.
“What we’re trying to improve now is at goal-scoring,” said. “We feel we’re solid at the back (defense) and also in goalkeeping and at midfield. We feel we’re good there, but we need to get the goal upfront.”
Despite averaging less than a goal per game, the team’s defense held the group together, grinding out a 7-7-2 record.
“This team is a work-in-progress,” Hyde said. “All I can say is that this team will work hard, (and) they’re committed to that.
During the offseason, the team’s forwards worked together in order to improve their chemistry.
“I’ve definitely been working with the other forwards,” said Alex Palomino, a forward for the Gators. “We’ve been doing a lot of runs and working a lot on striking. It’s basically our bond and our connection.”
Part of scoring more goals stems from increasing and improving the team’s stamina. According to Palomino, the team is in prime physical shape.
“We didn’t just pass our fitness test, we pretty much destroyed it,” she said. “We’re just ready to go, we want to make the playoffs so it’s a lot more drive for us and we especially want to do this for our coach.”
The team will also look to improve its record against teams from the same conference. Last season the team’s record against same-conference teams was 6-7-3. This season, 10 of the 18 teams that SF State face come from the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Last season many players were in the training room recovering from injuries. At the start of this season every player reported to camp healthy.
“This time last year we had half of the team in the training room,” Hyde said.
For a few players on the squad, this season will be their last year of eligibility to play collegiate sports. These players have an added pressure to perform well. The seniors main objective at the start of this season is to make the playoffs.
“It’s really exciting but there’s a lot of pressure because it’s my final year of eligibility,” said team captain and attacking-midfielder, Elizet Ceja. “The drive has been there every year, but it’s so much more this year. I just want to go all the way. I know that all of the seniors feel the same way. It just pushes us every practice.”
SF State kicked off their season Sunday with a 2-1 victory over city rival Academy of Art.