WSU Women’s Soccer | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian
The Wright State University Women’s Soccer team is coming close to its first conference game amidst a three game losing streak with a 1-4 loss at the University of Kentucky on Thursday night.
The Raiders are prepared for conference play having already faced tough opponents on the road to start the season.
While WSU has started the season with a 3-4 losing record, the losses have come from tough opponents like Butler, Kentucky and Dayton, allowing the team to learn lessons from the loss.
Head Coach Travis Sobers hopes that the rough games can allow the team to succeed in conference play, especially after playing six of the first seven games on the road.
“Well, for us it’s really about everytime we step on the field, we want to be better,” Sobers said. “When we play games like Kentucky and Butler, even when we’re on the wrong side of the scoreline we want to challenge ourselves and see the things we need to work on.”
Inside the 18
While the Raiders have lost against tough teams, WSU’s style of play allows players to create chances against any opponent.
“We’re really athletic and we’re good in one-on-one situations, so everything we do is trying to make sure that we create opportunities for our players that are dangerous players,” Sobers said.
Even the goalkeepers help create the attack, with the Raider defense switching the field through starting goalkeeper Jessika Seward.
“I grew up playing on the field and I have a lot of confidence playing with my feet, so I’m definitely up for the challenge,” Seward said. “The main thing is having confidence and my coach as well as my teammates having confidence in me has helped a lot.”
While the Raiders can generate opportunities, the team struggles to take the shot and bury a goal in the back of the net. For Sobers and the team, confidence inside the 18-yard line has been a huge focus in recent practices.
“That’s been the biggest thing since I came to Wright State, it’s about finishing,” forward Olga Massombo said. “We have the chances, we have the players to create chances, we just have to finish.”
Looking to Conference Play
While the Raiders were able to put a goal past Kentucky on Thursday, the Wildcats found much more success in the attacking third. With the 1-4 loss in the rearview, the Raiders now turn to conference play with a home opener against the Milwaukee Panthers.
“We’ve played some really good teams and they showed us what we need to work on when we get ready for conference,” Seward said. “I think as long as we play how we want to play and keep possession, we can do what we need to do.”
For Sobers, facing tough competition outside of conference is about learning to compete even when things don’t go your team’s way.
“The most important thing is, are we going to compete and are we going to be a team that battles,” Sobers said. “Yes, we can play soccer, but do we have that edge and are we going to compete for everything? That’s what we’re trying to instill in the games we’ve played so far.”
The Raiders and Panthers have battled hard in the past few years, so a win in this conference opener will set up a very successful season for WSU.
“We’re definitely very excited,” Massombo said. “Milwaukee is always a team that we want to come in and destroy them, and they want to destroy us, so we’re gonna come in and give it our all.”
The Raiders take on Milwaukee on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. on Alumni Field.