Thursday, November 30, 2023

Women's soccer not overlooking Bowling Green

September 16, 2010

The referee blows his whistle after a collision between junior forward Sarah Stern and Eastern Michigan defender Julie Kaim on Sept. 3 at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field. MSU beat the Eagles, 4-0.

Photo by Kat Petersen | The State News

Despite Bowling Green’s 1-5-1 record, members of the MSU women’s soccer team say they are not peaking ahead to the start of the Big Ten schedule next week and want to take care of business with a win Friday at Bowling Green.

“We’re preparing just like we would for any other game, whether it’s a Big Ten game or a last out-of-conference game,” junior forward Laura Heyboer said.

“We’re focusing on getting our finishing back together, getting our defense solid, organizing between the lines and trying to communicate a little more. We’re not doing anything different, changing anything, we’re keeping things how we are because we’re pretty happy with how we’ve been playing.”

MSU (4-2-1) has been played well as of late, coming off two consecutive shutouts. However, in their last road game, the Spartans came out flat and got served with a loss, 3-2, to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

MSU head coach Tom Saxton said the team won’t survive Friday’s game if it come out the same way.

“We’re going into their place, they just had a win to turn things around, they’re very hungry and if we’re one bit complacent or lax we’re going to be in trouble,” Saxton said.

Although Saxton is cautious, senior defender Courtney Shegos said the team knows what to do to avoid the slow start this time around.

“It’s about communication,” Shegos said. “We just weren’t on and now (we’re) just really focusing on staying productive with the ball in the offensive end and just keeping our shape and focusing on getting the job done when it’s time to. We’ll try not to realize we’re on the road and realize it’s just
another game and go out and play it like we usually

Although Bowling Green has recorded just one win, it came in the team’s most recent game against Cleveland State. If Bowling Green carries the emotional high from their first victory, it could
mean trouble for the Spartans.

The Spartans, however, are outscoring opponents 11-6 in seven games, whereas Bowling Green has only scored five goals total.

The lack of goals-against can be credited to the defense and junior goalkeeper Jill Flietstra, who was this week’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and is tied for the Big Ten lead in shutouts (5).

“We always focus on (team defense) at practice saying ‘Stay tight, keep your block of eight,’” Shegos said.

“The communication between your pairs and as a whole is really key. With attacking them, our mindset going into this is take advantage of your three front and really get at teams.”

Even with those defensive numbers and two consecutive shutouts, Saxon said he is looking for the team to continue to improve both offensively and

“One of the things we’ve talked about on the offensive end is can we score more one-touch goals and get on the other end of those crosses,” he said.

“And consistency in the defense, the defense played well, but we’ve still had a couple of lapses. We need to continue to get more

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