The 2019 season has been one full of ups and downs for Longwood women’s soccer. From the highs of shutting out multiple conference rivals, to the lows of getting blown out at home by in-state rival VCU in the first game of the season, and having two games cancelled due to rain.
It would be safe to say this season has been a rollercoaster for the team.
With the Big South Tournament now one week away, the team finished the regular season at 6-8-2 (4-4-2 Big South) which clinched the sixth spot in the tournament.
Head Coach Todd Dyer noted some things he saw from his team during the regular season that he believes will help them in the postseason.
“We don’t give up, we are very resilient, we show a lot of grit, we defend very well, we’re in every game; it’s just a question of ‘are we going to get the goal?’,” he said. “Even with the ups and downs that we’ve had, we’ve learned from all of those setbacks. If we get healthy, I think we’re going to be a team that nobody will want to play.”
He added, “As well as we’re defending, we need to transition to our offense better so that we can make other teams defend us more frequently. Sometimes we get stuck in the back and we’re defending too much and we’ve got to be able to break out of that, keep the ball, possess the ball, push the other team back with our possession and make the other team deal with us defensively.”
This past Wednesday, the team received a visit from the undefeated, now conference Regular Season Champion, High Point Panthers. They matched the Panthers in a defensive stalemate for the entirety of the game and finished at a 0-0 score line through two overtime periods.
Dyer believes that the momentum of holding their own against the conference leader will help his team in the postseason.
“We have to come with that same energy, that same focus, that same discipline no matter who’s in front of us. That’s been a challenge for us this year, against some of the better teams we step up to the occasion; and then when it’s one of those 50-50 games where we think we’re the better team, we’re not finishing those games off,” he said.
One player who has come up big, as of late, is junior midfielder Madison Lockamy. She currently is second on the team in goals with five (all coming in conference play) and is second on the team in minutes played, totaling 1,303 minutes thus far.
Coach Dyer referred to her as a “stud” and said, “This has been her best year by far. She’s one of our leading goal-scorers. She has been doing a lot of work defensively and covering a lot of ground and is also managing to get forward and get goals in big games. She deserves the success.”
Lockamy had the game-winning goal for the Lancers in the October 2 win over Radford, whom the team will play in the first round of the Big South Tournament, and had two goals in the teams’ September 25 win over Hampton.
“I like to think that I’m a good offensive presence. I try to get in places where I can try to find the back of the net and get some assists.” she said. “To be better for the postseason, we have to find the back of the net more than we are now. We’re fine defensively, we just shut out the number one team in our conference. Offensively, we create plenty of chances, we just need to finish them.”
She said that she believed the game against High Point showed everyone that Longwood was still here and that they were still contenders.
As previously mentioned, the Lancers will begin their tournament journey on Saturday as they travel to Radford to take on the Highlanders.