It is early morning at Texas Southern University (TSU). Placed in the corner, near the Recreation Center is the soccer field. Female soccer players are in a huddle and getting ready to practice. In practice, early or late, the team’s preseason is literally kicking off to a rising start.
Fall season is in the books, and while it is only springtime, TSU Women’s Soccer is optimistic about the future. Their concentration on next season and the championship is the main goal for these group of girls.
Even though they didn’t bring one last season, championship is still the prize the Lady Tigers have their eyes on. TSU soccer player and health studies major Maya Turner already knows the task at hand.
“We got a lot better, and I got a lot better,” Turner said.
Turner is only in her second year at TSU, and she sees the improvement in not just herself, but her team.
“Our speed and our ball movement is there.”
This improvement is also seen through the eyes of their head coach, Kathryn Saunders.
“It is definitely our goal (this upcoming season),” said Saunders enthusiastically.
The team’s goals start with the trust in one another.
“I believe we are finally coming together as a team on and off the field,” assistant coach Jordan Creel said via email.
Although she started this past August with the team, Creel has been seeing a lot in her team to know that they are laser focused on the next season.
“Also in the weight room and while doing fitness they are lot more motivating to another,” said Creel.
Saunders, who is in her first full year as the team’s head coach, views her team’s growth as a sign of confidence and determination.
“They have gone through a lot,” Saunders said.
“Their tenacity. They are just a good group of girls.”
Along with Maya Turner, the team is preparing by working out four times a week and practice four days a week.
“We have little tournaments and scrimmages as well,” Turner said.
“Even our communication is better,” said Turner.
With communication comes a goal that can be achieved and increasing possibility, even though there are steps to take in order for the main goal to be reached.
“It’s one game at a time, so I believe if we focus on the task at hand every game then we are setting ourselves up for a very successful season,” Creel said.
Creel is showing optimism in the team’s seasonal plans, and Saunders has seen the positivity in the improvement of the team.
“The fitness, conditioning, and the attacking are coming together well,” Saunders said confidently.
In addition, Saunders also said that the team had success in goals against them. With that been said, they are making other teams having difficulty scoring goals. Not only are the players bonding on and off the field, but they have also bonded with a coaching staff who have a belief that their goals, including the trophy, can be accomplished.