On the road again…

The Fresno State women’s soccer team is back on the road for two more road games this weekend.

After defeating UC Irvine 3-0 at home on Aug. 31, the Bulldogs hit the road for a six-game road trip stretching over the month of September.

Two games into it, the ’Dogs are 0-2 having lost games to UC Davis and Sacramento State.

Coach Steve Springthorpe assures his team is not letting the record on the road change the hopes for the remaining games.

“Honestly, I’m not happy with where our team is,” Springthorpe said. “These are teams we feel we should be beating.”

To get where it needs to be, Springthorpe said, the team has addressed some of its issues.

“We need to be better defensively and tougher on the field so we can play at a higher intensity,” he said.

The team earned numerous awards, and the conference title last season, so adjusting to high expectations is testing for the young team.

“It’s a new team from last year but there are high expectations now,” Springthorpe said. “Last year was a very experienced team with different dynamics.”

Despite eight seniors filling leadership roles, 14 freshmen are on this year’s team. Some of those new players, however, are stepping into shoes too big to fill.

“They are replacing players from last year,” Springthorpe said. “I don’t expect them to play the same, just play the best they can to fill the position.”

Among this year’s seniors, captains Christina Gilbert and Aubrey Tennant help lead the way.

Springthorpe said midfielder Krissy Looney from Auburn, Calif., and Lauren Satterlee, a Bullard High graduate, are two freshmen who have helped so far this season.

Satterlee is a starter who plays forward but moves around to where she is needed.

Prior to going on the road, the Bulldogs set a team goal of winning 70 percent of their road games. As far as outlook for the season, the team has specific hopes for goal scoring and goals scored on.

“It’s not really about the win or lose,” Springthorpe said. “It’s how we play.”

The match at UC Davis resulted in a 1-0 overtime loss on Sept. 2, followed by a 5-1 loss at Sacramento State Sept. 9.

The next two matches against Northern Colorado and Wyoming are two days apart.

This means after arriving in Denver on Thursday, the Bulldogs drove to Greeley, Colo. for hotel check-in and a meal.

Friday the team has a meal and then heads to the soccer field to train for about and hour.

After another meal, and some free time, the team has a pre-game meal followed by preparation and a meeting. After the match, another meal is in store then back to the hotel before showering and getting to bed.

Saturday is travel day as the Bulldogs drive to Laramie, Wyo. Upon arrival, the team checks in, then heads to the field for training.

The afternoon is for free time, followed by mental preparation, then bed.

Sunday starts a little earlier with a pre-game routine followed, by a 2 p.m. match.

The drive to the airport is about two-and-a-half hours and after some waiting, it’s an estimated 11 p.m. return to Fresno.

Monday is a school day with no practice and Tuesday practice starts up again.

After they return to Fresno, they will have two days of practice before heading back out on the road for matches against UC Riverside on Sept. 21 and Loyola Marymount on Sept. 23.

Having games back-to-back are tiring and limit practice time, Springthorpe said.

“This week we only got two days of practice in. It’s not a lot of practice time,” he said. “We have to be mentally tough.”

The ’Dogs make a home appearance Sept. 28 to take on UTEP at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.

“We need to start playing better and harder,” Springthorpe said. “I’m looking forward to seeing that.”

ON THE ROAD

Sept. 14
Northern Colorado

Sept. 16
Wyoming

Sept. 21
UC Riverside

Sept. 23
Loyola Marymount

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