“It’s a process.” If you spend much time around the CSU women’s soccer team, that’s something you hear a lot.
For the first-year program, everything they do is a new experience. After their historic first win against Lubbock Christian, the Rams were humbled in the program’s first losses 6-0 by No. 24 Texas Tech and Southern Methodist 4-0.
However for the inaugural squad every game, win or lose, is a step toward becoming a better program.
“We have a really young team, so going out and playing two good teams really forced us to pick things up quicker and step our game up,” freshman midfielder Jessica Jochheim said.
After two large-margin losses, players and coaches alike are simply trying to improve each day and build towards becoming a more cohesive unit. Traveling to Texas twice in the last two weeks has created a captive bonding experience that created opportunities for the squad to bond on and off the pitch.
“Every week that we’re together we learn more about each other’s abilities, and being around each other 24/7 creates great friendships and turns these girls into some of your best friends,” freshman goalkeeper Elena Eidson said.
As the Rams progress through the season, technical skill improvement is a must for an upstart program looking to make a name for itself. One of the biggest goals for this squad is to train at a tempo and level that will translate into more success on the field.
“We’ll show flashes of good, but there will also be some ugly. My goal is for us to play hard, compete, and see some of the things we do in training show up on game day,” head coach Bill Hempen said.
After being away for their first three games, both Hempen and the players are excited to be finally playing in front of their home crowd when they take on Grand Canyon University Friday at 5 p.m. The Antelopes (0-3) travel to Fort Collins after falling to Valparaiso and IUPUI this past weekend.
“We’re so excited to be home, we’ve heard about how excited the community is to have a women’s soccer program and we’re ready for them to see what we’ve been out here working on,” Eidson said.
Due to the outpouring of early support, the Rams expect to have a lively crowd for their home debut.
For Coach Hempen and his young Rams squad, Friday night will be another significant moment in the first chapter of CSU Women’s Soccer history.
“Whether it’s 50 or 100 people, we want them to be loud. I want our staff to be blown away by the crowd we have Friday night,” Hempen said.
Women’s soccer Beat Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.