Women’s Soccer Looks To Upset Cal State L.A.

Kevin Vera

Coming off a turnaround weekend, the CSU East Bay Women’s soccer team faces Cal State Los Angeles, ranked fifteenth in Division-II, away on enemy turf. This will be the second time these two compete this season, with the previous meeting ending in a disappointing 6-0 loss for CSUEB at home.

The team seeks revenge against a ranked L.A team hoping to pull of the upset, two days following their L.A matchup the team heads to Cal State Dominguez Hills for yet another repeat matchup, one which they hope ends differently than it did last time.

This year’s team has improved in different aspects of their game despite losing seniors to graduation, improvements that are clear to spectators enjoying the game and improvement evident in the overall record after a month of matches.

“We’ve been correcting our mistakes from previous games, we’ve been working on our fitness, working on our tactical style of play so improving the little things in games will end in the results that we want to see,” head coach Amy Gerace said.

Coach Gerace entering her tenth season as Head Coach and first year Assistant Coach Zlatan Sahmanovic direct the 5-4-2 women’s soccer team. This season is different from previous ones due to the fact that new strategies have been incorporated into their game play as well as new drills introduced during practice, keeping the girls up-to-date with the latest trend in winning matches.

“We’re playing some more formation, our style of play is definitely more possession oriented than it was last year, last year we were a bit more direct, this year having players with more tactical skill allows us to play a little cleaner style of soccer I think it’s a little prettier looking and fun to watch when executed,” coach Gerace said.

With these upgrades to the teams’ play style teams like Cal State L.A and Dominguez Hills shouldn’t prove to be anymore difficult than they were the first time around when they beat out CSUEB earlier in the season. Despite improvements made on the field coach Sahmanovic emphasized the importance of being better people off the field as well.

“Trying to help them grow as players on the field and as persons off the field so that’s definitely one of my biggest challenges, to see them succeed,” coach Sahmanovic said.

A challenge that coach Sahmanovic proves is hard work to accomplish, yet effective once players excel on and off the field.

“We’ve progressed as a team, we started out rough as individuals, but we’ve been growing everyday—more as a team, more as a family and we’re getting better and better and working harder everyday,” senior Michelle Garcia said.

The progress this team has made is transforming the way sports programs are being perceived to the public eye, the right leadership with the right enthusiasm will bring about positive results in an athlete’s life both on and off the field.

“I like where we’re going. Obviously there’s been games that we’ve been more successful at than others, but for the most part I’m happy with the development and the overall outcome,” coach Gerace said.