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Soccer takes ‘blue collar’ approach

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012

Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 17:09


Ashley Helliwell, Sports Editor

Senior Becky Wheeler heads the ball during Wednesday’s practice. The Lady Red Wolves are undefeated on the home front and hope to take their first conference victory this weekend.

The Arkansas State women’s soccer team has been doing a lot of preparing as they are set to host two conference match ups at home this weekend. The Lady Red Wolves will face off against both the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

With wins over both teams in the 2011 season, head coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge isn’t about to let past victories get to his or any of the players’ heads.

“We were able to beat them, but that’s last year; it’s in the past.” “What happened last year will not have an impact at all on the game this year,” Ziyenge said.

In fact, the team is quite different than it was last fall. Ziyenge described getting prepared for this season as “demolishing” what they had last year and completely starting fresh.

“It’s very important for our team that we don’t have returners and new players or veterans and freshmen, but that we just have one Arkansas State team.” “We’re trying to create from here onwards a very competitive situation where it doesn’t matter what you did last year. This year is new,” Ziyenge said.

The games this weekend are shaping up to give either team a chance of getting a win as Ziyenge has described the Sun Belt as a “dog-eat-dog affair”. He added, “Anything can happen. It’s just a question of whether or not we have maturity while defending our home turf knowing that, so far, we’ve done a very good job at home.”

Just as in the past, Ziyenge insists that the players should never be too comfortable as far as work ethic is concerned.     
“Overall, we’re the type of team that has never banked on one player,” Ziyenge said. He uses what he calls the “Blue Collar approach,” describing the way the team is focused on working hard as a team and not allowing one player to carry a larger load than any other player. “In order to live like a king, you have to work as hard as a slave.” Ziyenge said.

This weekend will be a defining weekend for the team as two conference wins would aid in setting a new record for ASU Soccer.

The Red wolves are undefeated on the home front and will open this weekend with a 7-5 all season record and 0-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.

As the team continues to prepare, they are confident that this weekend could be part of a monumental season for the Lady Red Wolves. The team will play Louisiana-Monroe at 2 p.m. on Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette at 1 P.M. on Sunday and both games will be at the ASU Soccer Complex.

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