Spring practices and games give good precedent to Racer soccer.
Though their regular season has passed, the Racers meet four teams this spring including Vanderbilt, where they won 2-1, University of Southern Indiana, where they also won 2-0, University of Evansville and finally the University of Kentucky.
Spring games do not count toward the team’s record or the individual’s record. However this is a chance for freshmen and players who don’t usually get field time to practice their skills and show coaches their improvement.
“Freshmen who don’t get to play in the fall get to compete,” said Head Coach Jeremy Groves. “This is kind of a training and to see them how they play in game situations.”
Groves said the team has progressively done better with being consistent with their training and skill improvement.
With their last season posing as a turn around of wins, Groves said winning is a habit now and the team has to continue to want it.
Training for spring is relaxed for most Groves said he isn’t the type of coach to bring the team back and work the team 20 hours.
He said he has to trust the team will train on their own. Groves said over the summer he gives the team a training packet, but it is ultimately up to the players to keep up for their preseason practices in August. He said a majority of the players will play in summer leagues that help them stay up to par with where they are supposed to be as far as strength.
Groves signed nine new members to the team this spring. Among them are four players from Kentucky, two players from Indiana, one from Ohio and one from Oklahoma.
“We can’t really count on them to contribute right away,” Groves said. “We predict that probably five or six will push but you don’t really know until they get in your environment. We’ll just see what happens when they report for preseason practice.”
Tuesday the Racers faced against the University of Southern Indiana, where the team won 2-0.
“Tuesday (Destiny White) played really well,” Groves said. “She came from a local high school and we gave her a chance; she took it and went with it.”
The Racers continue their spring games next week at noon on April 3 on Cutchin Field against the University of Evansville and at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 in Lexington, Ky., against the University of Kentucky.
“Every game they are getting better,” Groves said. “They’ve done a tremendous job training and my hope is to just continually get better every game.”
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Assistant Sports Editor