Striving to be back-to-back champs

The Grambling State soccer team has compiled a record of 3-1 so far this season, all in nonconference play. GSU Athletics/Courtesy photo

The Grambling State University soccer team is striving to continue to hold their ranking as the top team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference again this season. Last season, the team was in top form, going 9-1 in the conference and winning the SWAC Tournament Championship. 

A concern that rises with championship teams is that they will become complacent in being champions, while other teams focus in on them as their most important target. However, the GSU team’s focus is not on last season, but instead on improving to become an even better team inside and outside of the SWAC.

Chloe Robinson, a sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, is returning to GSU’s soccer team and expects a lot from herself and her team this upcoming season. 

Robinson feels this year’s team is strong and youthful, which is something that shows that they have the potential to become even stronger than they were last year. 

“I feel like this team is very strong.” Robinson said, “We have been competing with top NCAA tournament teams from other conferences and either winning or holding our ground.” 

This confidence she has in her team, in addition to their team chemistry becoming stronger, is what will help propel them to a higher level. 

“We are all willing to fight for each other until the last play,” Robinson said. “We are very strong at fighting until the end. Even if we fall short, we give it our all.” 

Robinson’s goal for the team is that they win the SWAC tournament, and also compete in the NCAA tournament for their shot at a National Championship.

Another returning player on Grambling’s soccer team is Emily Lewis, a sophomore from Houston, Texas. She has high goals for her team because she believes this year’s team is even stronger than they were last year. 

Lewis believes this team seems to be more resilient and greater at performing under pressure. 

“One of our positive differences include the ability to come back harder after we get scored on.” 

Lewis said, “Instead of becoming discouraged, we focus on coming back to win the game.” 

In addition to this team’s strengths, Lewis gives great credit to the coaching of the team. She believes their coach, Justin Wagar, is what brings a great advantage to the team. 

“Our coaching and how he reteaches us a new and more effective way to play the game of soccer is always what gives us an edge.” Lewis said. 

The internal fire this team has for the game and their willingness to follow instructions of the coach is what will be what will propel them to another title.

On Friday, Aug. 30, the women’s soccer team won 1-0 against Northwestern State University. In that game, they continuously displayed they had chemistry along with heart to pull them to victory against the Lady Demons. 

This team’s hunger and determination to become better are what they believe will push them to not only become the back-to-back champions of the SWAC, but also give Grambling national notoriety in their play against nationally ranked teams. The 2019 season seems to have a lot in store for the Lady Tigers.