The lyrics to Seether's "Rise Above This" come to mind when I think about my team, the CMU women's soccer team. This past week, our head coach, Tony DiTucci, left for personal matters. Losing a head coach is never easy, but so far, we have persevered and will continue to do so.
We began our MAC season last Friday against Ball State and Miami of Ohio and I am proud to say we started our season off tremendously! With the unfortunate timing of our head coach leaving and the looming responsibilities put on our assistant coach Tom Anagnost, adversity never touched us. We won both games 3-0, two shutouts and two wins to begin our most important season of the year.
I know you might want the "juicy details" of our head coach leaving, but there isn't much to say. What I can tell you though is we really didn't do anything different in practices to prepare for our MAC season. We focused on the things we needed to work on and didn't worry too much about the teams ahead of us. The game of soccer is so much different from a sport such as football. Bryan Anderson mentioned that if the football team went into practices or games not knowing what the other team was going to do, they would lose. But in soccer, as long as you execute what you know your team needs to, you will win.
Sure there are a few things you need to know to prepare. Our scouting reports always include the formation of the other team, which players are the best - standard things that the other team will know about us too. But honestly, every game we are really only "playing against ourselves."
Another reason we focus on ourselves is because all the teams in the MAC are even. Winning each game is all about mentality, not which team has more talent or intelligence. It is literally a fight to the death every time we take the field to play a MAC game. To give an example, this weekend, the teams in the top four last year all lost this past weekend to teams that placed toward the bottom of the pack, including us. We finished 11th out of 12 teams last year.
However, this is a new year and I can honestly say with 100 percent honesty that we have a shot at winning the MAC. If you don't believe me, you can come watch us this weekend for our third and fourth MAC games. On Friday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m., we play Northern Illinois and on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 2 p.m., we play WESTERN! They will both be great games to watch, but I can guarantee you a new team with a new attitude and fight. FIRE UP CHIPS!
SONG OF THE DAY: Seether - Rise Above This
Today's Scripture: “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37)