Preparing for Soccer Season
Coach Snow talks about her goals for the upcoming soccer season.
February 16, 2012
The spring pre-season has arrived for the Bluefield College women’s soccer team, but some are finding it hard to adapt to changes from last semester.
As the fall season unfolded and games were played, the team started losing players to eligibility issues and to some making the decision that soccer just wasn’t for them.
“It’s hard,” said Pip Pattison, a sophomore from Radford, Va. “We never really develop team chemistry because we always have to start over.”
Samantha Snow, now in her second year as head coach for the Lady Rams soccer program, values team chemistry and wants to refrain from messing it up when it comes to planning the spring games. In the past there have been occasions when the soccer team had to borrow players from the opposing team to compete, but Snow said she won’t borrow any this spring.
“Even if we had to play 7-a-side, it’s still good because we’re finding our team rhythm and chemistry,” said Snow. “And bringing other people in or borrowing people can mess up that chemistry on the field.”
Snow said the team is allowed to play three dates in the spring for NAIA, and last year was the first spring season they’ve ever had. However, they weren’t able to compete with a team of 11, so they had to play 7-a-side, and this year it looks like they’ll have to do the same.
“We have to have everybody eligible to play in games even if it’s just a spring game,” said Snow. “We just have a couple that didn’t make the grades but they’re working on it now, and then just injuries. We had a lot of injuries in the fall and it kind of rolled over.”
Another issue that seems to have rolled over is money.
“This year we won’t be able to go somewhere unless we’re able to fundraise the money,” said Snow. “Which I’m hoping we’ll do, but we’ll have to play 7-a-side because we won’t have enough to play full-side-11.”
Regardless of how many girls will be able to play, the spring games will continue. Coach Snow and the women’s soccer team are hosting a tournament April 14, inviting Milligan College, Concord University, Southern Virginia University, Hollins University, and possibly one more.
“I’m still hoping that we’ll be able to go somewhere,” said Snow. “One of our big fundraisers is ‘Kickaroos,’ and we’re going to do that again so we might be able to get enough money to actually go somewhere.”
‘Kickaroos’ is a one-day-a week-clinic that offers basic soccer training and introductory drills for children.
The team will also be playing in an alumnae soccer game this spring.
“I’m excited to be able to get back on the field and actually play,” said Pattison.
Missy Hubert, a sophomore from Smyrna, Del., said she’s excited to play and see old friends again.
The team is planning events for the spring but issues about how many girls will actually be able to play continues to arise.
Coach Snow said she recently met with the members of her team to reinforce the importance of their studies, because she wants to make sure they’re ready to play in the fall. She also said that aside from eligibility, right now, there are 13 girls on the roster and four injuries, making it hard to determine how many girls will be ready to play.
“We’ve also lost girls because they realize once they get here that they don’t want to go to a small school,” said Hubert. “And some freshmen come in unprepared and think it’s OK to goof off and not really pay attention in their classes, and it ends up affecting their athletic time.”
Snow said most of the academic problems do seem to happen the first semester freshman year.
“It might just be the whole getting away from home for the first time, or it could be that in high school they made good grades and never really learned how to study,” said Snow.
Study hall is something Bluefield College athletics enforces to ensure the program produces athletes who are achieving not only in their sport but in academics as well.
Snow said anyone on the women’s soccer team who has a GPA below a 2.5 is doing 10 hours of study hall, and anyone who has a GPA below a 3.0 is doing six hours of study hall. She said their goal is to have everyone at a 3.0 within three more semesters.
With a huge smile on her face and much enthusiasm, Snow said, “I want to win the team GPA award!”