With Presidents’ Athletic Conference play just a couple weeks in, the Waynesburg women’s soccer team has only had a total of two games in a two-week span, while other teams in the PAC have had a total of three-games in the past two weeks.
Head coach Laura Heethuis doesn’t see the time off as a detriment to the team.
“It’s been okay, we have had a little break here, the girls don’t have a break during the fall break,” said Heethuis. “So, it was really nice having a break this past weekend to rest their minds and focus on school.”
With having a heavy workload thanks to eight nonconference games to start the season, having fewer games as of late has helped give the Yellow Jackets time to relax and catch up on their school work.
“Any season that you have is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Heethuis. “[We are] definitely hitting mile 16 or 17, so there are some girls that are banged up and there are some girls that are, school-wise, mentally exhausted. So, we are giving them a couple days off to rest the bodies and [give them] extra time in the classroom.”
The extended rest has helped the team to recover from being banged up and or rehabbing from certain injuries thanks in large part to the spaced-out PAC conference schedule it has this season.
For players on the team, it gives them extra time to go over previous games and analyze what they need to improve on for the rest of the season.
“I kind of like it a lot,” said senior defender McKenzie Shaffer. “Because it gives us a chance to review after each game with what we struggled with and gives us a chance to build on that, to get better as a whole group and make any changes that needs to be change.”
Shaffer also added that as she gets older, extra rest is a blessing to her.
“I think it had benefit me since I know that I’m a lot older now, I’m a lot sorer now,” she said. “So, it gives me a lot more recovery time and for the team.”
Shaffer would go on to say that she thinks everyone enjoys that so that they have a recovery day, where they just get back into the swing of things and start going over things.
It’s also giving the team more time to prepare for the upcoming game, according to Heethuis.
“We have been looking at the film as coaches, find key things that we need to focus on and maybe do better for the upcoming opponent,” said Heethuis. “We try to play as much as possible and give them some full game experience when we can’t get a full game in with a normal practice mix, so making sure we give them a heavy workload and when we need to go lighter we go lighter.”
The Yellow Jackets’ next game will be this coming Saturday, Oct. 13, as they travel to Greenville, Pennsylvania for a PAC match up against the Thiel College Tomcats. Start time is set for 1 p.m.