Rebounding: Women’s Soccer Looks to Rebound Against Liberty

Jim Swing
Assistant Sports Editor

Coming off of a disappointing 4-1 loss to a preseason ranked top 25 Central Florida team, VCU women’s soccer has gained a new found set of confidence they will take in to Friday’s game versus Liberty (1-2-2). With the game against UCF being the third NCAA-caliber team the Rams have faced so far this season, it proved to be yet another learning experience.

“It looked as though there were a handful of our players who didn’t quite believe in themselves and their abilities going up against a good team like UCF on Sunday,” said co-head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak. “The way you build confidence is by working really hard and letting them get through something hard, then they realize ‘I can do this.'”

Sophomore forward Bre White (Manassas, Va./C.D. Hylton High School) continued her recent success in transitioning to the forward position collecting a turnover in UCF territory and burying a shot just over two minutes in for her third goal of the year. “She can play anywhere, you ask her to do something as she’ll do it better than expected,” said Roberts Sahaydak. The move came with the transfer of sophomore Carly Edgcomb (Princeton High School/Villanova) from Villanova who showed more experience on the back line as a freshman.

While preparations and adjustments go in to facing any opposing team, Roberts Sahaydak says she believes focusing on her own team is the key to success. The team has only been afforded three days of practice this week to prepare for the Flames due to their closely-packed schedule, however they are making the best of the time they have. “We are going to work on a new formation this week along with a few mentally-tough training sessions to boost our confidence level,” said Roberts Sahaydak. Freshman keeper Megan Lynch (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary High School) and the Rams defense will look to hold off lead scorer Aimee Luurtsema (3 goals, one assist) and the Liberty Flames as they near closer to the start of in-conference play.

VCU’s recent tough out-of-conference slate has served as the highest form of preparation for the Rams as they head in to CAA play Sept. 24 against a surging Northeastern (3-2) team. “You want to play good teams to find out where you really stand and see where you need to improve,” said Roberts Sahaydak. “Out-of-conference games help prepare you for conference games and really helps you grow.”

This year VCU has a statement to make after they were placed tenth in the CAA Women’s Soccer Pre-Season Coaches Poll. With a young team that has been immediately forced into tough competition, the Rams are quickly gaining experience in competitive play. Co-head coach Roberts Sahaydak possesses a strong awareness of the conference. “I think in the CAA if you are one of the most organized teams in the conference you can be successful,” said Robert Sahaydak. “I want to make sure that all the players understand our defensive philosophy because if you are organized then you have the confidence to attack.”

Organization defensively has become VCU’s bread and butter so far this season and in order for them win games in the CAA they will need to continue this trend. “The CAA is a dog-fight every game,” said Roberts Sahaydak. “We didn’t do very well last season but I expect to improve.”

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