Season two of the women’s soccer season is getting underway.
The inaugural season of UMKC women’s soccer was, as can be expected from a startup program, a rough one. Only one victory in the season was tough to swallow.
Now with the start of a new year, there is a feeling of determination and strength that didn’t permeate the team as last year.
The squad, as a whole, is strong from a demanding physical training regimen that began as soon as last season ended. This was to make the women grow in preparation for a conference where only the strong will survive.
“The players had to pass our assigned physical fitness tests,” Head Coach Anita Rodriguez said. “This is Division 1, after all.”
Tactically, the team will be looking to use a 4-3-3 formation. This includes four defenders, consisting of two central defenders and two fullbacks, three midfielders consisting of a central, right and left midfielder, and three forwards consisting of a central forward (target woman) and wingers on each side of the forward.
This formation will allow the midfielders to play close together to help the defense and have the three attacking forward players spread out. This is a tactic used extensively by the Netherlands’ national soccer team.
This team has the players, though the best way for a school to win is for the women to come together and work as a team, because there are 11 on the field at one time. This doesn’t allow for a one-man show. Teamwork will be the most important part of this season. UMKC will look to finish the games the way they started, playing at full speed 100 percent of the time.
“Last year we didn’t finish games the way we started; that’s why we had two overtime games last season,” Rodriguez said.
Scheduling is crucial to all factors of a team. With an ample supply of women’s soccer teams within a five hour driving radius, it is easy to locate opposition and not over-reach the school budget for travel. The largest non-conference oppositions that go up against the Lady Roo’s are Drake and Creighton from the Missouri Valley Conference, as well as the Summit League conference teams from Oral Roberts, Oakland, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and Indiana Purdue- University of Fort Wayne.
The 2010 season has already gotten under way with a dramatic 3-2 loss to former conference opponent Valparaiso at the Durwood Soccer Stadium. It was a difficult way to start the season as UMKC had their opposition on the ropes but let off the gas which allowed Valparaiso to come back.
After Valparaiso, the women went on to a tough 2-0shutout versus South Dakota State on Friday. The Roos had 20 shots on a goal but couldn’t make a score.
UMKC will assuredly be looking to make their mark this season and will be an interesting team to follow.