The SPU women’s soccer team had been waiting eagerly for the first game day of spring season to arrive. The large four-month gap between the end of fall season and the start of spring season gave the players plenty of time to rest and recover, but now again the team enters the field with their teammates.
On Wednesday, April 5, the Falcons finally got their chance to play again, opening up their 2017 Spring Exhibition Season against Seattle University at Interbay Stadium in very cold and wet conditions.
Most exhibition matches are against teams in higher divisions than SPU, so the season serves as a way for the Falcons to improve their techniques for the upcoming fall games. Therefore, the team does not post or talk about final scores. They focus on their team dynamics rather than the numerical outcome.
“It was fun to be out on the field together playing a game,” Head Coach Arby Busey said. “Our spring is about growth, developing each player and our overall team as much as possible, so that we are prepared to have a successful fall season.”
“Spring games are definitely a great time and a fun experience for our team,” junior goalkeeper Molly Stinson added.
The Falcons had a few good defensive plays against the Seattle University Redhawks, making attack difficult for their opponents at times. Stinson came up with some crucial saves in the first half of play whilst first-year defender Asia Cayetano stepped up to deny several scoring opportunities for SU.
“Cayetano had a great game,” sophomore defender Sydnee Smith said. “I thought she really stepped up and held our back line together.”
It was the first game for the Falcons without their seniors and therefore provided a great chance for younger athletes such as Cayetano to step in and fill those positions that are now available.
“It was very enjoyable to see our new group out on the field,” Busey said. “We don’t have this past fall’s seniors playing with us any longer, and it is always a challenge to fill some of the voids that those players leave. But it is an exciting challenge to face, as we have a lot of talented players within our program to fill those voids.”
Despite this game being played quite quickly after spring break, the Falcons were able to show their potential, creating some good chances for themselves in attack.
“We had some attacking moments where we caused problems [for the other team]. We will certainly work toward more consistency and creating these types of moments on a more frequent basis during games,” Busey said.
Busey is very excited and confident that the Falcons will continue to improve individually and as a team throughout this spring so that they are prepared to perform when fall season rolls around in early September.
“We have a lot of work to do, but we’re a group that is very willing to put in the work needed,” Busey said. “I thought we looked like we had only practiced three times, and we were a little bit rusty; we haven’t played in a game since November, so that was to be expected.”
Next, the Falcons will take on the Seattle Stars this upcoming Thursday, April 13, at Interbay Stadium in their second spring season match. The game kicks-off at 7:30 p.m.