SPU plays semi- professional team

Women’s soccer team prepares for regular season with challenging matchups

Erica Manier | The Falcon
Sydney Smith takes a corner kick during SPU’s exhibition match Thursday night.

The SPU women’s soccer team entered the field once again this spring season with a determined mindset that focused on improving aspects of their game that were lacking in their first match up.

Last Thursday night, April 13, on their home turf at Interbay Stadium, the Falcons were ready to give themselves the best opportunity for victory against a semi-professional women’s team that may seem more accomplished on paper, the Seattle Stars.

“We were definitely a little nervous,” second-year goalkeeper Abby Smith said. “We knew that these women would be good soccer players with a lot of experience, but we were ready to put in a good performance.”

The Falcons had more practices and conditioning sessions under their belt going into this game compared to their first match, and Head Coach Arby Busey believes this played a large role in his team’s overall performance.

Some solid passing sequences and good offense within scoring range throughout the game lead to a goal late in the second half from third-year midfielder Simone Herzberg.

“Offensively, our spacing and movement was very much improved from the previous game,” Busey said.  “We were able to create some good, quality opportunities in front of the goal. And ended up scoring a really nice goal.”

For Herzberg, scoring a goal and being able to help her team in her last spring exhibition season as a Falcon was very exciting.

“My main goal for the team this spring is to have fun getting better,” Herzberg said. “Spring season has always been a time that we work hard to build as a team and challenge ourselves to get better so we can hit the ground running in the fall.”

Herzberg, an Oregon native, doesn’t plan on continuing soccer after her career finishes at Seattle Pacific.

“I love soccer, and it will always be an important part of my life, but I am very excited to be applying to MD and PhD programs this spring, so I don’t see professional soccer on the cards for me after college,” she said.

However, before talk of graduation begins, Herzberg and the rest of the Falcons are concentrated on the now, continuing to build as a team this spring season.

“I think that we still have room to improve, but we had some really good combinations and plays, so I am excited to keep working as a team to get even better,” Herzberg said.

Similarly, Coach Busey is equally excited for what is to come. He is especially delighted with the leaders of the Falcons.

“I like the direction we are headed; we have a great group of leaders, and they are doing a really good job of setting the tone during practices,” Busey said. “I am excited about this group’s ability to respond.”

The Falcons will get another chance to test their abilities when they play again on Saturday, April 22, in Pullman, Washington for their next spring game against the WSU Cougars.

This article was posted in the section Sports.

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