We can't buy a goal. We have not scored a goal in 400 minutes (over 4 games). The quality of play in those 400 minutes has been all over the place. At times during that span, the quality of soccer has been the best it has been in 5 years. The most consistent thing over the first 6 games has been our team defense. Our defensive shape and overall decision making has been solid. The players do not have to think that much on defense. They are instinctively pretty good.
However, we are thinking a lot (too much) when we have the ball. Possession shape and attacking tactics are not as instinctual to the players. There is more confidence, leadership, and communication when we are defending. There is less confidence, little leadership, and no communication when we are possessing.
The starting line up in the last game was 4 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 2 juniors, and 1 senior. We just need more time - more experience, more time working together, more communication, more comfortable with each other, more possession, more practice, more games, and obviously more goals.
This entire team, every player, top to bottom, is the best Belmont team in the last 5 years. However, a team is judged by wins and losses. No one will think we are good, including us, until we start winning.
All of us are frustrated right now. Our next challenge is to not allow this frustration to affect the way we play, the way we feel about each other, and the confidence we have in ourselves. It will take leadership. It will take maturity. It will take cohesiveness. It will take mental toughness. Finally, it will take a goal.
We had our official visits on campus last weekend. We have 5 verbal commitments for 2010. They are from Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, and New Jersey. All of them and their parents were here for Saturday's volleyball game, Sunday's game against Samford, dinner Sunday night, and academic meetings Monday morning. I think they all fit in very well at Belmont and extremely well with our team. I enjoy the group and look forward to working with them next year.
If we are going to improve this week, it is going to have to be in games against an opponent. We play Evansville on Wednesday and Alabama A&M on Friday. Tuesday and Thursday's practices will be a good opportunity for us to work on our set plays like corner kicks, indirect kicks, and free kicks from midfield. If you have seen us play, you know we need it. We will work on finishing this week. We are creating opportunities in our games. We had many good opportunities last weekend. We just need to put one in the back of the net.