Southeast dominates in offseason game, looks toward to next season
The Southeast women’s soccer team defeated UT Martin 3-0 at its spring exhibition game Sunday, April 14, at Houck Stadium.
The Redhawks ended last season in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, finishing with a 5-8-5 overall record and 3-4-4 in conference. They have been using the off-season to switch up their lineup in hopes of bettering their game for the upcoming season.
“We implemented a new system, a system of play you need to have. Practicing through the spring has really given us a leg up, so you’re not introducing something that is brand new in the fall,” associate coach Paul Nelson said.
The offseason is not a time of rest for the Redhawks. Since the end of their season, the girl’s have been training in hopes of coming back better than how they ended their season.
“We’re just competing. We’re running a lot more, we’re doing a lot more. It’s just a little bit of everything. We’re just trying to get our team better and fix anything we need to fix. We want to improve on everything,” junior midfielder Esmie Gonzales said.
Gonzales led the team with 10 goals and will be going into her last season at Southeast.
“I am pretty upset that it’s going to end, but, I’m happy I get to do it with these girls right here,” Gonzales said. “I still expect a lot out of myself. I want to work hard and play every game like it’s my last.”
The Redhawks signed seven new recruits for the 2019 season.
“We have probably two or three kids that are standouts. We have some kids who will be good players but will also be grinders that really gives the team that feeling of working hard all the time. The whole recruiting class is like that,” Nelson said.
Seniors and other returners will be mentors to the new recruits.
“I want the new girls to compete and have fun. We are going to build family bonds and I can’t wait for that to happen,” Gonzales said.
Looking forward to the next season, Southeast is going in with high spirits and big goals.
“Everybody wants to win championships, but I give a lot of credence in winning a league rather than championships Nelson said. Really good teams will grind it out in 10 or 11 games but championships can be one and done. We want to play with cohesion and score more goals than we did last year, and I think that’s sort of coming into place over the last probably three or four weeks. They’re a bunch of girls that like to have fun and enjoy themselves, but when they are on the field, they understand that for 90 minutes you have to put some time in. I think you saw that today. We performed pretty well.”
The Redhawks have three more spring games. The next home game is against Southern Methodist University at 1 p.m. April 24at Houck Stadium.
“I’m just so proud of how much we’ve worked and how much everyone keeps each other up and keeps going,” Gonzales said, “I can’t wait to step on the field next year with them. It’s going to be a great season, I feel like.”