By Spencer Jacobson, Staff Writer
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams opened up conference play over the weekend and each saw some success against conference opponents.
The women started the weekend with a 3-0 victory over MIAA conference foe, Rogers State, on Friday night and finished their busy weekend with a hard-fought 0-0 tie against another conference opponent, Central Oklahoma, on Sunday.
Aaron Avila, the head women’s soccer coach, said that the team played well and that both games were similar.
“We started to play a lot more physical. We started making better decisions with the ball, and eliminating turnovers that were costing us in the first half. That was definitely very similar in both games. In the first half of both games, we were really going through the learning process, playing two very good teams, but once we got used to that, the second half was much better,” Avila said.
With many new and young players, Avila said that going into the rest of the season, the team is continuing to learn and improve its system of play.
“It is really just about working as hard as we can and remembering that this is a learning experience for everybody, myself included,” he said.
Avila said that every game they play, the team members always have the goal of winning, but that is not their main focus. Their main focus is getting better every day.
“With a new conference, new opponents, and a new team, we want the mindset of taking it one week at a time and just trying to progress each week so we can get ready for the next opponent and see where it goes from there,” Avila said.
The Lady Jets play next at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Northeastern State University.
The men’s soccer team started the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Great American Conference rival and nationally ranked Rogers State last Thursday night.
The Jets finished the weekend with a tough 0-1 loss to another conference opponent Northeastern State University on Saturday.
Cliff Brown, the head men’s soccer coach, said that the men played well but were unable to create enough chances to score to win both games.
“When we stick to our style of play, the way we are trying to set them up, we do quite well. I thought we had some good moments in both games in terms of possession but on Saturday, in particular, we just were not creating chances. At the end of the day, you have to score goals to win games,” he said.
With many games and busy weekends ahead, Brown said, the team is continuing to work on creating opportunities to score, its defense, and its overall fitness so that they can be successful the rest of the season.
“We will continue getting everybody up to speed and fresh so we can use everybody,” he said.
Brown said that of course the team wants to win games and make the conference tournament, but for now, the team’s main goal is to take one game at a time.
“We just have to stay focused and not look too far ahead even though we have long term goals towards the end of the season. We have to meet the short term ones first,” Brown said.
The men’s team plays at 7 p.m. tonight in Searcy, Arkansas, against Harding. Their next home game is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 against Southern Nazarene.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo. Newman Athletics.