After a 4-1 heartbreaking loss to Central Missouri, the Emporia State soccer team will travel to Joplin, Mo., to square off against the Lions of Missouri Southern.
The Hornets are 1-6-1 on the season and look to improve their record with a road win against a tough MIAA opponent.
“It’s going to be interesting from the standpoint that Missouri Southern is having somewhat of a down year as well,” said head soccer coach Jim Schneiderhahn. “They had an outstanding player that played up top for them and finished a lot of goals and things like that, and she graduated. They’re in the process of trying to manufacture goals, as well. That’s one of the things that we’re struggling with is manufacturing goals.
I think we can expect another really tough affair. I know we’re beat up, and that seems to be the word around the conference, that everyone is beat up. I’m hoping that they’ll be a little bit beat up as we will.”
The Hornets have pin-pointed what they need to improve upon during the game and aim to finally do so in their upcoming match.
“We’re going to have to come together more as a team to lift each other up, and be positive,” said Lauren Cathey, junior midfielder. “ (We need to) make sure that we’re helping each other out and telling each other what we’re supposed to be doing and encouraging each other.”
Freshman goalkeeper Nikki Schmitz said that the team often gets down on themselves early.
“We can’t get down and become frustrated,” Schmitz said. “After one goal gets down we get frustrated, put down and it just goes on from there.”
Part of the Hornets’ struggles this year has come from the recent position changes – but with risk comes reward.
When questioned about an immediate positive impact on the team from position changes, Schneiderhahn said, “Sometimes, to be quite honest, sometimes I see a positive impact, and sometimes I see a negative impact. I think part of what we try to do is anything we can t be successful. The goal sometimes is to put people in places where they can succeed, and that’s certainly my goal.”
The players themselves have also noticed the change and how it could impact the Hornets during the season.
“We’ve been switching people’s positions to try and get a better connection between people, and we’ve had some injuries, so we’re trying to switch positions to see where people fit,” Cathey said. “I think that’s been a little bit of the problem. I think with us switching and actually being able to practice where we’re going will really help. We’ve been switching off and on – whenever we get new freshman and personnel we have to switch around and see where everybody fits in different positions. We usually have to move a couple of people, but since we’ve had injuries, and the system wasn’t working with some things, we decided to switch it up and see if it would work other ways.”
Zac Burt/The Bulletin