The soccer program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has seen what the top looks like as well as the bottom.
UWSP started out the season 2-6, and Crow is finding the positives in her squad’s efforts and is working on some weaknesses.
“Big thing that we are happy about is we are getting scoring chances, now we just gotta finish them,” Crow said. “Our fitness level isn’t where it needs to be right now, and we are working little by little to getting it where it needs to be.”
The Pointers have only played one conference game so far, a 2-0 loss to UW-Stout. The Pointers tested themselves with a tough non-conference schedule that included a game against the University of Chicago, which is ranked top ten in the country.
“A game like that will tell you very quickly what you need to work on,” Crow said. “I would much rather play those games, though, instead of the games where you kind of know you are going to win. I want to earn these wins.”
Crow’s impact is strong among the players, and they are embracing the goals and values Crow wants to install throughout the program.
“We definietly have a lot more structure and discipline and were held accountable to the expectations that she has set for us,” said senior forward Emily Dietrich.
As group of players who has endured a couple tough years, they are taking in every ounce Crow has to offer whether they are a seniors or freshmen.
“We kind of knew that coach was special when she came to interview for the job, and we got to talk to her individually,” said senior midfielder Sarah Meylor.
“Coach Crow makes us think and work in ways that I never have before. She tests us mentally and physically to see what we have,” said junior defenseman Kelsey Blob.
With a new coach and new system, the Pointers are trying to catch on to all that Crow is trying to implement as well as to win games in the process.
“It is a little bit disappointing how we have started,” Dietrich said. “I thought when I heard that Dawn was coming here that we were going to have this great season, but I have realized it is about baby steps and taking this day by day.
The team has been absent from the season ending WIAC conference tournament the past couple years, so the goal for the season is to get there, Crow said.
“We show these spurts of potential to make it that far. It is just about being consistent from here on out,” Meylor said.
Challenging all players to bring out their best is a task the team believes will help them into the conference season, Crow said.
“It is amazing to see how well we can connect and execute when we are positive and happy with each other. We are a whole different team, and it shows,” said freshman defenseman Lexi Ahrens.
A new coach, system and mentality for the Pointers soccer program will take some time to come together. When it does, Crow is ready to take on all challengers.
“I’d love to have the target on our back and everybody want to beat us. It means were doing something right,” Crow said.
UWSP faced Carthage at home on Sept. 2 before playing against UW-Whitewater on Saturday.