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Women’s soccer pumped for first season

The VSU women’s soccer team is set to start their inaugural season Thursday Sept. 1 when they host the VSU Tri-Conference Challenge.

Melissa Heinz brings a lot of experience to the head coach position, having had previous success with starting new teams from scratch.

Heinz was named Coach of the Year for first year programs by the National Soccer Coaches Association when she had the same opportunity of starting a team at Division I school Winthrop.

Heinz is excited to have another shot at making history with VSU’s newest team.

“I’m pretty thrilled. Excited for a chance to make some history and hopefully do it right,” Heinz said. “The bar [for VSU athletics] is so high across the board, so we are going to set it there as well.”

Preseason practices started Aug. 10, and Heinz says the girls are starting to mesh well with the little time they have had to prepare for the upcoming season.

“The girls share the commonality of soccer so they have that, and outside of that they are just good kids,” Heinz said.

“I am excited to see how all of our hard work is going to pay off against our competition,” freshman forward Morgan Cutts said.

Heinz spent a year and a half attending tournaments all around Georgia and surrounding states recruiting the athletes needed to start the team. She is impressed by the dedication shown in this inaugural squad.

“Kids are here, they are excited, and working hard to impress,” Heinz said.

“They are all riding high. They are working hard so I have no complaints in that aspect.”

The first season will be hard as the team tries to set the tempo for seasons to come. Heinz believes that every game will be a challenge for this inaugural team.

“[Our toughest competition is] everybody from the first game till the last game,” Heinz said.

“It truly is everybody because we haven’t played anybody, and the players haven’t played in the college aspect.”

Margaret Stauffer, freshman outside midfielder, said they were ready to make a name for themselves during Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

The Blazers will get a chance to do that when Queens University of Charlotte and Georgia Southwestern State University roll into town for the three-game VSU Tri-Conference Challenge that will run from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5.

Kickoff for the first game between VSU and Georgia Southwestern will be at 7 p.m. at the new soccer fields located at the Athletic Fieldhouse on Mary Street.

“Come out,” Heinz said. “Come out and support us. Certainly we are going to give it all we’ve got and hopefully represent VSU and athletics.”

Heinz and the rest of the team’s staff have been working hard to promote the team. For the past two weeks teammates have been visiting community elementary and middle schools promoting the teams and holding sessions for the students.

The team will also be hosting their annual Meet the Blazers event on Saturday at 7 p.m. This is a great opportunity to come out and meet the new squad before they start working hard in their inaugural season.

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