Forget Oct. 4’s split against No. 15 Marquette or the upcoming Conference USA tournament. For the USF women’s soccer team, it all boils down to four words.
Right here. Right now.
“You know that song by Fatboy Slim, ‘Right here, Right now?’ That’s what we train to,” USF coach Logan Fleck said. “The only thing that matters is not what we did yesterday, it’s not what we can do tomorrow, but what we can do today. That’s what we’re trying to focus on.”
After a grueling road trip covering four states with only two home games in September, the Bulls are now in the midst of a four-game homestand.
“It’s nice to be home and actually practice on our game field the night before a game,” senior Tia Opliger said.
USF tied No. 15 Marquette 1-1 and defeated Florida Atlantic 2-1 last week. The Bulls’ record improved to 4-6-1. The four wins has already equaled last year’s win total.
However, this weekend will be no pushover, as they host Tulane tonight at 7 and Memphis at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both Tulane and Memphis got the best of the Bulls last year, shutting the team out 5-0 and 3-0, respectively. Even though it doesn’t sting as much now, the losses are still fresh in the back of Fleck’s mind.
“There’s a couple players, I’m sure, who remember,” Fleck said. “About the games, it’s kind of like a divorce. You don’t want to bring any old, historical baggage into a new relationship.”
Tulane comes into the match at 3-7-1. However, they played No. 1 Stanford tough last week, falling 3-0 and also lost 1-0 to preseason C-USA favorite Marquette.
The Green Wave are led by senior Colleen Lake and sophomore Lindsay Morris. Lake has compiled two goals and three assists while Morris has racked up three goals. Lake is a two-time All C-USA selectee and is the career leader in points, goals and assists. Freshman goalkeeper Kristin Weegar has settled in nicely for the Green Wave, compiling 43 saves and two shutouts for a 1.83 goals allowed average. The Bulls lead the all-time series 6-2.
Memphis comes into the game with a 5-5-1 record. The Tigers are upperclass-laden as they are led by seniors Alison Baker, Becca Amrozowicz and junior goalkeeper Katarina Wicksell. Baker leads the team with five goals and two assists while Amrozowicz has tacked on four goals and three assists. Wicksell has been stingy with 44 saves and a 1.65 GAA. However, USF has the Tigers’ number, with an all-time record of 4-2. Memphis also has the distinction of giving up the second-most goals in USF’s history with 22.
All week, Fleck has stressed the fundamentals of the game to his players. Other than the Stone Temple Pilots concert on campus this past Wednesday, the practice schedule has gone on as planned.
“We’ve been working on counter-attack goals, changing and switching the attack,” Fleck said. “We’ve been shifting and working the sweeper, making sure they’re not too far back. We’re trying to exploit our speed.”
However, in addition to working on tactical improvements, confidence is something the team wants to establish.
“Coach wants us to be positive,” sophomore Berna Breirem said. “We’ve lost some games and put our heads down. But now, even after we give up a goal, we have our heads up.”
With the regular season coming to a close and the C-USA tournament (Nov. 6), things are starting to get busy for the Bulls. However, what happens in the future will be dictated by how the Bulls prepare now.
“The team is just starting to realize that they just can’t show up,” Fleck said. “It’s right here, right now. We have to put it all on the line and just go for it.”