The Eastern women’s soccer team is continuing with its slate of practices this semester as they look toward the start of the season in the spring.
Head coach Jake Plant, now in his third year as head coach, said that he was happy to have the team on the practice field and they were able to hold a intrasquad scrimmage recently, which he was pleased with.
“Just happy to have them back, number one, and playing, especially putting them in their uniforms and getting them on the game field was nice,” Plant said. “Number one, its great to have them back. Number two, they were surprisingly ready to play to be honest. Technique was good, tactic was good, fitness was good. Just an excellent day all around to be honest.”
Plant has a large team this season with 28 players listed on the roster. There were 21 players on the team last season and 22 the season before that.
There is a high number of both returners and newcomers on the team, and Plant said that he thinks the team will benefit from having players with different levels of experience.
“It’s a lot of general stuff, teaching concepts as a group together so everyone can learn from each other, so it’s not been segregated in all in terms of returners versus newcomers,” he said. “But they’re all learning from each other, like the returners are learning from newcomers too, so its been a good start so far.”
Although the season has been pushed ahead to the spring, Plant said that the goal for the team has not changed, and he wants them to remember that no matter when the season begins, winning a championship is their aim.
“We don’t care if its 10 days or whether its eight months time, we have to keep that championship mindset, every week reminding them that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said. “So far its working. We haven’t had to do it before, so we’ll see if it keeps going straightforward.”
Throughout this semester, Plant said it is also important to find scorers that can step up. The top two scorers from last season’s team, Sarah DeWolf and Lexi Ketterhagen have since graduated.
The Panthers’ top returning scorer is Haylee Renick, who scored three goals last season.
“The big thing is making sure that these girls can figure out how to score goals and us teaching them how to do it,” he said. “That’s the key thing for us is making sure that, within the tactic that we’re teaching them, that we’re finding people that are brave enough to shoot on goal and score.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]