Written by Ace Espenshied
Upcoming scrimmage against men’s club soccer:
VSU women’s soccer is getting into the thick of spring training.
For the third time, the Lady Blazers face off against the men’s soccer club team in the annual scrimmage on Sunday.
This spring the ladies have already played a couple matches resulting in a tie against North Florida and a loss to Jacksonville University.
“The spring is neat because kids get a chance to step up when they didn’t get as many chances in the fall,” Head Coach Melissa Heinz said. “Especially, our freshman right now Erin Hill, Kim Caitlin (Alderman), Shelby Jennings, and Reanne Harris have stepped up this spring.”
During the upcoming season, VSU will be relying on incoming freshman and transfers on both sides of the ball.
Heinz says VSU expects to sign two Puerto Ricans and one German player soon.
That adds to at least eight ladies that have already committed to VSU to play soccer this fall.
There will be plenty of competition for minutes next season and scrimmages can make a difference for one player over another.
“We need to work on cleaning up every aspect of the field in the back, middle, and the front,” Heinz said. “But we’re playing very well. I’m excited about how our maturity has grown and just looking for our game to be even stronger.
The scrimmage against the men’s club team starts at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Rebecca Miller transfers:
VSU women soccer’s leading scorer last season, sophomore Rebecca Miller, is leaving the Lady Blazers to join a new red and black.
The oppourtunity to continue her success playing for VSU made her decision to transfer to the University of Georgia much harder.
“Since I was younger, going to a big state school was always a dream of mine,” Miller said. “That [soccer] was one of the hardest things about this decision.”
Miller is not transferring to play soccer competitively at UGA.
“With soccer I’m going to miss the competitiveness and the drive that our coaches give us. And also the little things like scoring goals, sliding, and tackling,” Miller said.
Despite getting ready for a new chapter of life, she has no regrets coming to play soccer for the Lady Blazers.
“I gained the privilege to play college soccer for two years, not many people have the opportunity to do that,” Miller said. “I’m really thankful for Coach Heinz to give me the opportunity and the team to play with me for two years.”
Last season Miller scored six goals, tied for the team leader in assists (4), and had 27 shots on-goal which is more than double of any of her teammates total shots.
A year after a berth into the NCAA tournament, the Lady Blazers will look for others to step up on the offensive side with the loss.
“We’re playing spring games right now and trying to find people to step up and fill that role,” Heinz said. “We’ve had a few [girls step up], mainly it’s Erin (Hill) our freshman and Blakely (McClellan), and even some players attacking out of the back more.”
Regardless, the Lady Blazers have no doubt they’ll still be offensively sound next season, but they will definitely miss No. 8.
“[The teams going to miss] her high energy, great personality, and her care for her teammates and this program,” Heinz said. “She’s always going to be one of our players that put her footprints into the program.