04 Nov BHC women’s soccer make a run for national – The Brookhaven Courier
After losing in the second round at nationals last year, the Brookhaven Women’s soccer team is hungry for another National Championship. We sat down with Coach Robert Williams to discuss the team’s goals and expectations for this season.
Q: How would you describe your coaching style?
My coaching style is very detailed. We play a sophisticated flat-four and have three midfielders and three super-skilled forwards. One midfielder drops, the other two attacking midfielders pressure to bring us as a group forward. I believe we’re going to get better, but we focus on getting tactics right.
Q: And with what mindset do teams and coaches come into the season?
The mindset is revenge because, again, we had a great season last season. The unfortunate part of last season was with the pandemic we were unable to play against teams outside of our conference. No disrespect to the other teams, but we were far superior to everybody in our conference.
Having nonconference games against four-year schools and Division 1 schools makes a big difference because you’re going to get tested some games you’re going to be behind so you learn to come from behind. It helps your team to build character.
Q: Were there any conflicts or incidents before the start of the season?
No, we looked pretty good before the start of the season. We have 30 players on the roster now. One is recovering from an ACL, so she’s going to redshirt this year.
We had one phenomenal player but she was in a concussion protocol – in her first game with us she got another concussion – so now her career is done. That was a big blow to the team because she’s a 5 foot 11 center-back. She was a very strong player, and it was a massive loss for the defense.
Another good forward tore her ACL and LCL in a training session so she’s out for the season as well. But we still have a lot of quality players that ease the blow.
Q: What are the team’s expectations for this season? How do you plan on meeting those expectations?
Expectations are definitely to get back to the national tournament. It’s kind of hard because you don’t want to look too far down the road. You have to take it game by game.
Q: How do you plan on meeting those expectations?
Everybody has to be focused on training. It comes down to the tactics and being committed. The players have to be 100% committed and give 110% on the field. We’re pretty hard on them in practice, but good hard. We do the best we can to get them prepared. We have three captains and they’ve been good at bringing the freshmen up to speed on what we expect.
Q: Do you feel like there is any pressure?
There’s always pressure. We’ve been getting better and better, and we’re always on top in our main conference. Winning the national tournament is our main goal. We were No. 1 all last season until the final and then we lost, and we entered the season as No. 2.
So right now we’re ranked No. 3 in the country. If we maintain, we will get back up there. I’m not worried too much but it’s good pressure because the girls know what they have to do.
Q: What is the difference between last year’s team and this year’ team?
Last season it was hard to get the team motivated after playing the same teams over and over. Last season Eastfield and Cedar Valley dropped out because they didn’t have enough players. So it was just Brookhaven, Richland, Mountain View and North Lake.
This season is different because we get to play nonconference teams. So the girls are motivated and get to see different teams outside of the three teams that we played against in the conference.
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