The Waynesburg University men’s and women’s soccer teams both have their first home conference games this Friday, Oct. 4. Both teams will be playing against Presidents’ Athletic Conference powerhouse Grove City. For both head coaches, Laura and Brad Heethuis, it will be the first time the teams play at home during homecoming weekend since they took over their respective programs in 2014. Brad Heethuis hopes the excitement of the weekend itself will boost the atmosphere of Friday’s matches
“I would hope that it will be a good crowd on Friday night,” Brad Heethuis said. “It will be two good games. So, I am hoping that it will bring a little bit more energy and atmosphere and gives the guys a boost.”
The men’s team started PAC play with a 1-1 draw at Chatham last week. For Brad Heethuis, he is glad to have this week as time to start scouting Grove City.
“Honestly, we haven’t looked a whole lot into them yet, we will do so in the next three to four days,” he said. “Knowing Grove City and their tradition it will be a strong, solid squad that will make us work for 90 minutes.”
Brad Heethuis added that he was hoping for a win against Chatham, but being on the road to start the season and still getting a point is a positive. However, he also said that Grove City will definitely be a tougher match for the team since it won the PAC regular season championship last season.
“The mentality coming in it’s a bring your lunch pail, time to work for 90 minutes type of mentality,” Brad Heethuis said. “I also think that we have had a number of chances that if you want to beat a team like Grove City you have to put those chances away when we get them.”
The women’s team also tied Chatham, 2-2. Laura Heethuis looked through film earlier in the week and saw that although the team has struggled record wise, record-wise they’ve struggled, their opponents level of play was strong.
“It is going to be a hard battle,” Laura Heethuis said. “They have some injuries. So, we need to play really well on defense. It is going to be a good matchup because they also are strong on defense. So, we need to get up on the attack and exploit their weaknesses.”
So far, this season, Laura Heethuis likes the resiliency her team has shown. She was happy to get a point on the road as well and wants to be able to “defend our turf” Friday night.
“We can manage a game very well,” she said. “We need to keep showing that we can fight. There are still some things we are learning, but heading into conference play I think we are putting everything together at the right time.”
Both coach’s goals are to finish in the top four of the PAC and win the championship.
“We have the talent, depth and heart for it,” said Laura Heethuis.
The women’s kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the men’s game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.