During a year like no one ever could’ve imagined, Missouri Western’s women’s soccer team is looking at the postponement of their season with the glass half full. After new head coach Damian Macias was hired in August, players like Tina Palmieri are using this extra time to get to know his coaching style.
“We’ve got to get used to each other and how we play and how he coaches,” Palmieri said. “I think having no games and just practicing will prepare us better for spring season.”
Macias is also staying positive and believes this extra offseason will allow him to better prepare himself for whenever an opportunity to play arises.
“It’s a great opportunity not to have a game tomorrow and try to solve a bunch of problems with information that I don’t necessarily have at the moment,” Macias said. “But, because we have this time, we can develop those things.”
Unlike football and cross country, there’s still a chance that soccer will be able to play a full conference schedule in the spring. That’s why they’re still waiting for answers while other sports are able to play now.
Senior Lillian Davis was disheartened at first, but found new hope when she heard about the possibility of a full season.
“I didn’t know they were actually trying to go for a full-on conference schedule. I thought we were just going to try to get in as many games as we could,” Davis said. “But that really opens up the light a little bit more at the end of the tunnel.”
Griffon Athletics fought for cross country to compete this fall because they have track meets in the spring and wouldn’t be able to double up. Football is playing now because it’s so high-intensity that they couldn’t play in the spring and turn around and play in the fall. Soccer senior Mackenzie O’Neill is happy for the two programs.
“Those athletes are going to get a chance to compete this fall, and I support them,” O’Neill said. “I’m hoping they’ll get everything that they want from this fall, and when it comes time for spring, I hope they’re right there cheering us on, too.”
Despite the long waiting period before their first game, Davis and the rest of Griffon soccer is still out on the field practicing everyday.
“Just the thought of ending my soccer career with no games whatsoever but knowing that there is hope keeps me going at practice and keeps me working hard,” Davis said.
Macias said the team as a whole has had a great attitude throughout the process.
“They haven’t really said, ‘Why are we doing this right now? We don’t have a game for however long,’” Macias said. “We’re just, right now, in the moment, in the moment, in the moment and that’s all I’m asking of them.”
Macias is already building positive relationships with his athletes, with most of them describing him as goofy. Palmieri said he’s even more goofy off the field, and O’Neill said that he’s a very open communicator who works hard to make sure everyone’s included.