Tournament placement brings success for soccer team
For the first time in four seasons, it’s tournament time for the Trojans. A South Alabama win over ULM secured the eighth and final seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament the team. No stranger to the playoffs and championships, first-year coach Adrian Blewitt says the team accomplished their one goal for themselves. The Trojans will be in the SBC tournament for the first time since 2009.
“If we didn’t make it, we would’ve been absolutely devastated,” Blewitt said. He understands the situation of the program and says that the girls have really been working hard and giving him everything they have. Defense and a little bit more scoring at times will make or break the playoffs for the team according to Blewitt. The team has a defense that has improved from allowing 73 goals in 2012 to only 30 goals this season. The coaching change and new roster has the team feeling confident.
“We’re not going to get everything we need in my first recruiting class,”Blewitt said. “But I think we’ve gotten the most out of what we have, we’re happy to be here, they’re bubbly and excited; it’s like a new lease on life.”
The team will have nothing to lose when they face Western Kentucky in a quarterfinal match in San Marcos, Texas, Wednesday Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. The Trojans lost to the Hilltoppers earlier this season 1-0 on a late goal Oct. 20 at home.
Every loss the Trojans have encountered this season has been by an average of two goals. Being the underdog in this game would be the wrong word. The Trojans have everything it takes to win this game.
“I think we can be the bad news bears,” Blewitt said. The last time the Trojans were the number eight seed in 2009, they advanced to the title game. In the one and done tournament, coach says that no fear is what he is instilling in his team. “Let’s go out there and hold nothing back,” Blewitt said.
Coach Blewitt says he’s looking for consistency in Wednesday’s game; for players to step up and make goals, take chances, and for consistent goalkeeping. “If we can get those things, then I think we have a chance,” Blewitt said.
By making the tournament, the players have shown how far they have come since last season. They have given themselves a chance to do something truly special.