SHERIDAN — Every year, a portion of Sheridan College women’s soccer fall camp is dedicated to pushing players back into playing shape and readying them to play 90 minutes of college soccer.
Fourth-year head coach for the Sheridan College Lady Generals soccer team Mallery Hammer said the team came into the season in shape, allowing for more technical work and set plays to be implemented earlier than expected.
“The women showed up ready to go,” Hammer said. “It is probably the most fit I have had a team come in as a whole group, which was really nice to see. We do not have to dedicate as much time to fitness when they are at the level they need to be. We have been able to spend so much more time doing technical training, which is more enjoyable for them and for us as well.”
Hammer said the team was ahead of schedule day one and showed a lot promise during fall camp. She saw great play offensively from the team, seeing a great combination of passes leading to goals.
Hammer knows what she has offensively and is feeling comfortable with her front lines, knowing what to expect. In the exhibition match against Rocky Mountain College 1 p.m. Wednesday, Hammer plans to figure out what four players will make up her backline.
Hammer said there are six players, each equal in talent, competing for the four back positions, making it a tough decision. Hammer wants to figure out the best combination of four players and stick with a consistent backline.
Generally, Hammer likes to keep a consistent defensive four, allowing players to build chemistry. She will primarily sub forwards and midfielders.
Hammer said with her fast-paced offensive attack, her players understand they will be running hard for 10-15 minutes and fresh legs will enter the game to keep up the pressure.
The exhibition game against Rocky Mountain gives the Lady Generals their first look at another team, testing the ability of players and the team.
“It is going to take us some time to get into the groove of it,” sophomore Kam Harrop said. “I think the game will show how well we play with each other and how well we work with each other as a whole.”
With the experience gained from the exhibition match, sophomore Margaret Hamilton said this allows the team to figure out their chemistry and know who plays the best with what group of players.
“It is hard to find the vibe at first, but once you do it goes smoothly,” Hamilton said. “Once we start getting into our conference games when it really counts, we want to know where we are best at.”
Harrop said the exhibition match will be a chance for the freshmen familiar with college play. The freshmen have been getting the returners best shot, making sure they are ready for the college style of play Harrop said.
Hammer encourages her team to play hard during practice, not wanting them to shy away from physical action. The Lady Generals play in a physical region, and Hammer said she wants her team to comfortable with jerseys getting pulled and players having an opponent on their back.
Sophomores know they need to get the freshmen used to this play to prep them for a season where freshmen can expect a solid amount of playing time.
“It is super important,” Hamilton said on getting the freshmen ready to play physical. “We do not want to be the weakest team out there. If we show them how it is now, with us, then they will know how to play in the game.”
The Lady Generals have just less than a month before they play the first conference game on Sept. 7. Until then, there are three exhibition matches and three non-conference matches to prepare the Lady Generals.