Stafford: Accuracy and final third play need to improve

Working on accuracy and turning their numerous shots into goals is a priority for the women’s soccer team.

With 187 shots taken so far in this season’s 12 games, and just 74 of them being on goal, head coach Neil Stafford said his team needs to work on being “dynamic and deadly” in the final third of the field.

Stafford said when athletes come to college to play soccer, many of them aren’t drilled in certain ways that pertain to scoring opportunities.

“We have a limited time to educate these girls on the tactical side of infiltrating the final third or being technical and creating chances,” he said.

Stafford said he’s praying the women’s soccer team doesn’t have another game like Sunday’s 2-0 loss against Eastern Michigan.

With all 25 shots failing to find the back of the net, and only five on target, Stafford said the team has to improve on accuracy.

“Throughout our week, we’ve been doing drills where the girls are going against nobody, running patterns and taking shots,” Stafford said. “These girls are good, but they could be better.”

No matter how many times the Chippewas outshoot an opponent, the team needs to execute better to put points on the board, Stafford said.

An example he gave was the Aug. 26 game against Penn State. CMU was in the final third more than Penn State and took more shots, yet lost 5-0.

“I know other coaches have this same issue in their programs,” he said. “It’s something we need to work on.”

Junior midfielder Kaely Schlosser said the team needs to remain focused and calm when a goal scoring opportunity arises.

“We can’t get overwhelmed when we have a chance to shoot,” Schlosser said.

She also said the team needs to reduce the number of touches it takes to get a shot off.

Schlosser leads her team in shots with 47, more than double her next closest teammate, senior forward Laura Twidle with 19.

“I just think being in the midfield, I’ve had more opportunities to take shots,” she said, “but I do think more of my teammates need to take more shots from that far out.”

CMU travels to Toledo today before closing out its weekend Sunday at Northern Illinois.


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