Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer.
On Aug. 15, the Racers soccer team had finally got the chance to play together after a four month break. The exhibition loss against Troy provided Head Coach Jeremy Groves an opportunity to see his players competing again and the 3-0 score didn’t dissuade him.
“It’s the first time we’ve played together in a real game and we’ve only been on campus for seven days, so we’re not going to get carried away with this one game,” Groves said.
Last years’ leading scorer Julie Mooney and the leader in assists Pavlina Nepakojova both graduated, leaving a void in the offense, but with the addition of nine freshmen players, five of which are offensive players, Groves said the offensive production will come and it could be from several different sources.
“We’ve got plenty of players that can step up,” Groves said. “I feel like we’ve got six players that can come in and do some stuff and I’m not too worried about where the goals are going to come from.”
One player expected to have an impact this year is sophomore Harriet Withers. Last season Withers scored six goals and finished as the second leading scorer.
The Racers gathered some momentum during their spring season with three wins total and two wins against SEC opponents. As the regular season inches closer the team prepares to face another SEC team and this time it will count towards its record.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Racers will travel to Starkville, Miss., to play Mississippi State. The previous success against both Vanderbilt and the University of Kentucky in the spring season proves to Groves that they can win on Sunday.
“The confidence of beating those people in the spring should come through on Sunday but we’ve got a lot of work to do before we step on the field with them,” Groves said.