Coach Aaron Rodgers knows his sub-.500 record is not what he and his team are hoping to see this upcoming season.
Rodgers also knows that although the Bobcats haven't found the success they’ve wanted, there is no reason to panic. They've yet to face a conference opponent and have four non-conference games remaining until they matchup against Central Michigan on September 21.
Despite their record (1-2-1), Rodgers says he’s seen a great deal of promise in his team’s first four games.
“[We] have a lot of depth and experience returning, but we also added a lot of talent to the team,” Rodgers said. “I think our group showed a lot of resilience over the competition we played throughout our first four games, and that ultimately showed a lot about our team for this season to come.”
Much of that resilience is thanks to the new players the team brought in over the summer. The Bobcats have 14 underclassmen on their roster, including eight true freshmen, the fourth most in the Mid-American Conference. Although the Bobcats may seem inexperienced on paper, Rodgers says he has full confidence in his new players.
“These [young] players that have come in are eager, competitive, and talented, so they’ve mixed really well with our returners,” Rodgers said. “Coaching them has been a great experience personally, for sure.”
Rodgers saw this confidence pay off on August 19 against Robert Morris, when neither team scored during regulation. The game was sent into overtime, when two of his youngest players perfected their craft. In the 92nd minute, freshman midfielder Haley Miller sent a pass to freshman forward Abby Townsend, who sent a header past the Robert Morris goalkeeper to secure the victory.
The goal, as well as solid performances in other games by his underclassmen, did not come as a surprise to Rodgers, who praised Townsend and her teammates.
“[Going in], we knew the quality of these girls and how much talent they possessed, so we figured that they would be able to contribute right away. Right now, they’re proving us right.”
The team will hope to keep proving Rodgers right when they take on Northern Kentucky on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at Chessa Field.