Metro State women’s soccer is successful because they practice what head coach Adrianne Almaraz preaches — focus on one game at a time.
The No. 8 lady Roadrunners seven-game winning streak ended at the feet of New Mexico Highlands Oct. 14. Almaraz attributes her team’s success to working harder than the other team and playing each game as if it is the most important.
“We don’t look too far down the road,” Almaraz said. “We need to take care of business one game at a time.”
One game at a time may be a cliché to some teams, but to the ladies in red and blue, it is more than a motto; it’s the journey to success.
“I think yesterday’s the game could have gone either way, but we worked harder and that’s what put us on top,” senior goalkeeper Jordan Simkins said. “That’s what Adrianne keeps stressing — that we just need to keep working harder together as a team and focus on the game we are playing.”
The RMAC defensive player of the week, Simkins, was referring to the game Oct. 7 when the Roadrunners beat Regis University 2-0.
“It was a huge win for us and we really needed it,” Simkins said. “After tying them earlier this year, it was the one game we were looking forward to winning.”
Junior forward/midfielder Tess Hagenlock, who leads the Roadrunners in assists, agrees with Simkins about what it takes to have a successful season.
“It’s a very important quality that we have given ourselves — the ability to have a goal and do everything to reach it,” Hagenlock said. “Coach is very good at reminding us that the little things are important — you need to work hard in this drill, you need to get a good touch in that drill.”
Metro forward Karisa Price leads the team in points and goals scored. The sophomore’s personal philosophy is in line with her Roadrunner team.
“We have a really talented team and everyone here pushes me every practice to be better,” Price said. “I am really lucky to play on a team like that.”
Price quoted assistant coach Dave Morgan to sum up the teams philosophy: “Don’t care before it’s too late.”
Price explained the philosophy to mean don’t care after you lose or after you do something wrong, but put in the work early and you are going to get the result you want.
Almaraz said that some of the reasons for her team’s success are chemistry and different players stepping up in different moments to impact the team. In the two games against Colorado State-Pueblo and Regis, the lady Runners’ six goals were scored by six players.
“I think it shows how dangerous we can be and that we are not relying on one person to win games for us,” Almaraz said. “Most of the goals against Regis were by two players that came off of the bench. They came in and had an impact on the game.”
Even though the team philosophy is taking one game at a time, it doesn’t mean they haven’t set a goal to achieve beyond the regular season.
“We briefly talked about our goal this year, and that we want to win conference,” Almaraz said. “I think for us, taking it step-by-step is important, and right now we are in conference play — hopefully we maintain where we are at and come out reaching our goal.”
And beyond the RMAC?
“Our program has always wanted to get back to the final four, and to win a national championship,” Almaraz said. “That’s down the road, but I think this team has the capability to go far, if not win it all.”