Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Vikings Women’s Soccer optimistic about Conference challenge

The Augustana Women’s soccer team started out with a 5-0-2 record and are preparing for conference to start next week.  
In the Vikings last game, they tied Simpson College with neither scoring but one of the team’s captains, Lauren Muzzalupo, thinks the Vikings are on the right track heading moving forward. 
According to Muzzalupo in order to give themselves the edge they need, the team is focusing on studying their opponent’s game play to identify their weaknesses and opportunities that can be taken.
“Before the game, we prepare based on how the other team plays, knowing what they do and what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Muzzalupo said.
“At the end of the day, soccer is something we have been playing for 16 years so passing the ball, getting forward, normal soccer stuff, we don’t have to change too much,”Muzzalupo said.
Head Coach Scott Mejia agreed, reiterating the importance of knowing their opponent and identifying their weak spots. 
“We try to get scouting reports on the opponents. I watch film of the opponents. We try to piece together some guidelines and ideas,” Mejia said. 
“It gets difficult with the frequency of games. We always train what we want to do and what we do well, because we want to impose our style of play against the opponent,” Mejia said.
Freshman center forward, Maeve Sheriden, spoke about strong team chemistry as one of the team’s strengths.
“We have pretty good team chemistry off the field and that translates on the field. During the pre-season we did activities together, so we know each other pretty well. That helped a lot,” Sheridan said.
Despite tying twice early on in the season, Mejia has high expectations for the group going forward. 
“This is a group that has tremendous potential. This is a group that I think can accomplish great things. It will be fun to see how this group develops and rises to the challenge,” Mejia said.
Along with the optimism, Mejia pointed out a few aspects his team can improve.
“We are trying to find our identity, and that happens regardless of if you have all freshman or all seniors. We are still trying to be a little more dangerous while attacking and finishing chances and taking opportunities,” Mejia said.
With the start of conference play, there are a few games that the Vikings have circled on the schedule one of which is their matchup against Illinois Wesleyan on October 23.
“Over the years we tried to eliminate the emotional side of it with Illinois Wesleyan University. It turned into a nasty, vicious play. We’d go in with a negative mentality with them as an opponent. We always know that those games are nasty games,” Mejia said.
Overall, the Vikings have lofty goals for the season, and the road to achieving those goals starts Saturday afternoon with a matchup against North Park for their first conference game.  

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Vikings Women’s Soccer optimistic about Conference challenge