Monday, August 31, 2015

The North Greenville Women's Soccer team enters the 2015 season with plenty of goals, and plenty of motivation, looking to improve from last season while also looking to improve the future of the program.

I asked Coach Robinson about how his team would improve in the upcoming season, and he said, "Obviously it is our overall record that we are ultimately measured by in the public eye, and I think that is fair. However, as a coaching staff it is important for us to come in and build a program that is built on a strong foundation of pillars that will help us be successful over time and not just in phases. Our focus as a coaching staff is to take steps to start to change the culture in the women's soccer program and instill a sense of family and working hard and most of all excellence in everything we do, to hold the players accountable to using their abilities that God has blessed them with to play this game. The verse that is the corner stone of our program is Proverbs 27:17, this is the mentality that is impressed upon each player and coach to live by not only on the field, but in all aspects of our lives."

As far as player production is concerned, Robinson is of the "school of thought" that all players need to contribute in order for the team to be successful. "For our program, the expectation is for every player who enters our program this year to make an impact, I don't go into a season with more expectations for one player than I do another . . . I expect nothing more than their best and excellence in all that they do," said Robinson, " When I bring players into this environment, because it is a team sport, they are going to impact in different ways and that is the beauty of this sport, they all bring their own unique God given gifts to the table, and when all those abilities are used together, it is the team that makes the impact not individual players . . . I am looking to make a team impact.

The Crusaders return plenty of help this season to find the success that has been eluding them the past several seasons. Lindsay Tuten, the team's leading scorer returns for her junior campaign while Kathryn Allen returns for her fourth season in Tigerville to sure up NGU's midfield. The Crusaders also have plenty of depth returning in the net as Michelle Huddleston and Madelynn Schober both have several starts under their belt. Schober racked up 53 saves last season while Huddleston collected 34. Schober also spearheaded the team's only two wins last season.

Finally, I asked which of NGU's upcoming opponents would be toughest. Coach Robinson responded with, "That question is one of the philosophies that I am trying to change in our program's culture . . . The toughest team we will have to play is the one we are playing today! I do not want our players looking down the road or training for a game that is somewhere else down the schedule. I want our coaches and players to live, train, and play in the present, tomorrow will take care of itself and it is promised to no one. These players need to give 100% to training and defeating the opponent that is standing in front of them today, and once that has been accomplished then we will pull together and train to face the next one. Every team that we schedule now and in the future will be able to defeat us if we are not focused and ready to play, our goal as a coaching staff is to schedule the best teams we can find and Conference play is always fierce."

NGU opens up the 2015 season against Brevard College on September 3 at 5 p.m.