TAMPA – One of the building blocks in legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s ‘Pyramid Of Success’ was the phrase ‘Be quick – but don’t hurry’.
South Florida women’s soccer coach Denise Schilte-Brown is trying to instill that concept to her forwards and attacking midfielders ahead of Thursday night’s Big East opener on the road at Marquette.
“You want to play the ball quickly, but with a deep breath and a presence of calmness,” Schilte-Brown said. “When you get the ball and you play rushed, and you feel rushed, you almost always give the ball away.”
That came back to bite the Bulls on Sunday against Central Florida, when a late turnover in midfield allowed a counter-attack for the Knights which led to the only goal of a 1-0 win.
“I think we could have taken care of the ball better on our counter-attacks,” Schilte-Brown said. “We actually had an opportunity with less than two minutes to go where the turnover happened, and they scored their goal.”
BETTER BALANCE: As with most teams, the Bulls have focused on building a strong defensive base, but that has, at times, left them short-handed when trying to push forward.
Schilte-Brown said the focus that it takes to defend well may have taken the attention on getting forward and joining the attack away from her team.
“At times, when you become fatigued, because defending teams takes focus, then you tend to forget the attacking side,” Schilte-Brown said.
While pleased her players are playing tightly in defense, currently holding a 0.80 goals against average, Schilte-Brown would like to see players be more confident to join the Bulls attack.
“You want the wide players to defend, but then get up the pitch,” Schilte-Brown said. “You want your defensive midfielders, you want them to defend and then join the attack. The more you do that consistently, the better you’ll be.”
WAITING IT OUT: Friday night’s game against Austin Peay was scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m., but because of the torrential rain and storms that hit the bay area the game didn’t actually begin until after 10 p.m. Schilte-Brown said keeping the players focused, and learning from the Bulls game against Florida International that was also delayed due to poor weather, was key to the 6-0 drubbing they handed the Lady Governors.
“What we talked about during the delay was to stay engaged,” Schilte-Brown said.” Keep wanting to play the game, if at some point you don’t want to play the game anymore, you’re going to be flat when you step on the field, so it doesn’t matter how much time goes by, when the whistle goes you’ve got to want to be on that field.”
The team did, however, take a brief diversion as the rain came down and the start kept getting pushed back, as it took in the South Florida volleyball team taking on Florida in the Tampa Twice tournament.
“We got to go to Tampa Twice, and our volleyball team was killing it, they were doing a great job, and that was invigorating,” Schilte-Brown said. “Then we went out and played really well after that. When we knew there was another 40-minute delay we got in there, got to watch 30 minutes and popped back out, but it was really fun.”