The Minnesota State Women’s soccer team is back in action Thursday to kick off its regular season against Oklahoma Baptist. The Mavericks get to start the season at home as they welcome the visitors to The Pitch.
In the team’s third and final exhibition game before the start of the regular season Saturday, the Mavericks defeated Simpson College 3-1. The Mavs fell behind early in the second half but scored three times in the second half to win it.
Head coach Brian Bahl said he saw the game against the Bisons as another opportunity to grow as the team prepares for the start of the new season.
“We played a quality team,” said Bahl. “They’re going to have a really good year, so we knew that they would test us a little bit. They have a really really talented player up top and she obviously got loose on us one time but that was good for us to be exposed to that type of speed. All in all for us it was another good opportunity to get out and try to grow a little bit in preparation for next Thursday’s game.”
While Bahl’s team improved on certain things in each of the exhibition games, he noted the learning process will take some time for his young players.
“We’re just a really young team and I think it’s going to be a slow learning process for this group,” he said. “But I think if we can just keep getting better each time we get the opportunity to take the field, I think we’re going to go to a good place.”
One thing Mavs fans can look forward to seeing from their team going into Thursday’s game and beyond is its competitive mindset.
“I think we have a motivated group. I’m confident in the fact that I think they’re going to go out and compete and fight,” Bahl said.
Something the team is looking to improve on is capitalizing on opportunities in the final third of the field.
“We just need to clean up things in the final third, clean up things in the back so we don’t give up a counter goal like we did,” he said. “And we’ve just got to be able to capitalize on opportunities that we get going forward.”
The Mavs recent game will have given the team a bit of a preview of what it can expect to see Thursday against the Bisons.
“They have a similar thing that we faced today, it’ll be an overloaded midfield and I think they’re a physical team. They can be dangerous in a lot of ways and so they’re going to work hard, they’re going to compete and we’ll have to be ready for a very challenging game,” Bahl said.
Header Photo: The 2023 Mavericks’ women’s soccer team kicks off their season Thursday, August 31 at The Pitch. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at firstname.lastname@example.org