Having a short memory is a phrase often associated with athletics. Players need to forget past mistakes and move forward onto a new game and challenge. This holds true for the women’s soccer team, trying to move past its first losing season since 1987.
The Lakers will try to improve on last year’s 8-9-1 mark, even though the team has only one true senior in defender Megan Macko.
Coach Keith Cammidge said, “Last season is irrelevant. We just need to keep moving forward and looking to improve. Every coach wants to get off to a good start, but it’s still early.”
The team is in unfamiliar territory. Macko is the only player with NCAA experience on a team that has fallen down in the pecking order of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
After posting three straight NCAA berths from 2006-08, the Lakers are trying to regain former glory.
“It’s different. It’s hard to tell the younger players what it’s like to play in the Elite 8,” Macko said of her Elite 8 appearance as a freshman.
With a 4-2 start, it’s hoped the team can call last season a fluke.
“We just need to take one game at a time, take care of business and then move forward,” Cammidge said.
With every game, the Lakers gain experience to add to the talent that is already there.
“It’s just experience, I think we can definitely get back there,” Macko added.
The team currently sits at 2-2 in conference heading into Slippery Rock on Wednesday. The next few games will be a good indicator of where this year’s team is headed.
It was at the midway point last season when things began to fall apart for the Lakers. They lost eight of 10 games in the middle part of their schedule before rebounding to win two straight to finish the year.
“We may not have as much depth as some schools, but we have the talent to win games,” Cammidge said. “Conference games don’t mean anymore than any other game.”
One advantage the Lakers had last year that they were unable to take advantage of was five of their last six games were at home. This season, the team will finish with seven of their last 10 games on the road.
“We just need to win one game at a time and everyone realizes we need to focus on the next game and not any further,” Macko said.
With the one game at a time mantra being played loud and clear, this season may be different.