Graduation Strikes Leaders

Graduation+Strikes+Leaders

Lindsay Usarzewicz, Reporter

The women’s soccer team is looking for new leadership while remaining consistent with playing formation for the fall 2013 season.

The team made history last season as the first team in the school’s history to make it to a Final Four game. With the loss of five seniors, new leadership will need to come from the underclassmen.

Stauffer has not yet named the fall 2013 captains.

“I really wanna see who steps up and becomes a leader makes the difficult decision and has the difficult conversation and hold people accountable,” Stauffer said.

Sophomore Erin Roberts knows what it takes to be a leader on the women’s team.

“I think you must have a good work ethic, both in and out of season,” said Roberts. “You have to be willing to put in the time. Being a good communicator definitely helps. I think the biggest thing is that you have to want to win and want your teammates to succeed.“

It takes time for athletes to become leaders, especially when they first join the team as a first year and they don’t know anyone on the team.

“Coming on as a freshman, I didn’t really know what to expect. Before every game I was not only nervous, but pretty much terrified sitting in the locker room” Roberts said. “This past season was a lot different. While I still had some nerves before the games, it was a much more positive feeling.”

“I think we have the players in our program that can fill that role,” Stauffer said. “There not gonna play the role the same way those two did but that’s my job as a coach to manipulate and push them a little bit to maximize their strengths and mask what weaknesses we have.”

Effective use of players’ strengths and weakness helps develop formation, and last year’s plan obviously worked very well.  Stauffer said if he were to change anything about the formation he would use “a variation of it.”

Not only is  field performance important, but off-field performance is crucial, said Stauffer.

“It’s not so much the on-the-field stuff,” Stauffer said. “It’s making sure that not only are we are doing the right thing on and off the field and just making good decisions is what will make us successful or not.”

During the winter season the players get some time off, but they still have workouts to keep them in shape, Stauffer said.

“We really have to focus on getting each individual player from January through August,” Stauffer said. “I think if each individual player takes that upon themselves and makes their game better, then it’s my job in August to tie it all together and start molding us together as a team into formations.”

As players fall in line, they are setting goals – and that’s a mark of leadership itself, said Roberts.

“My goal is to get back to the Final Four,” Roberts said. “Some people might think that’s a little ambitious, but I think they just don’t know how hard we can work.”

“I would love to get to the Championship game and win it all. I think that’s every team’s goal going in, but it’s something that we actually have a shot at achieving” she said.

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