Clemson women’s soccer coach Eddie Radwanski sees the development of his program as a series of steps, each one building on the last. The next hurdle he feels his program has to overcome has to do with finding out how to win games on the road.
It is not an issue of confidence; in fact, confidence is the least of Radwanski’s worries. He has spoken with his team at length about taking a certain mindset into competition, no matter when or where the game is played.
“We think we’re pretty good on the road,” Radwanski said. “Our focus seems to be better on the road. I guess there are fewer distractions than around Clemson. We’ve talked about staying true to our identity and allowing the results to take care of themselves. Everybody’s excited about the challenge.”
Instead, Radwanski wants his team to be able to build up a memory bank of positive road experiences it can draw from in key moments throughout the season. He also wants to take different elements from each road match and combine them to give his team a formula for success that will eventually look like a completed puzzle.
Even when results do not go the Tigers’ way – like in Friday’s loss at national power Boston College – Radwanski is still more interested in how his team gets to the end of the game than what the scoreboard says.
“We have different objectives in each match,” he said. “I always try to establish some goals that are more intangible. We could actually go out and give an outstanding performance, but we might not get the result we want. But if we do the things we need to do, we can accept that.”
Not only does this weekend of games against Boston College and Maryland provide the Tigers an opportunity to give Radwanski more material to build on, but it is also the beginning of the ACC portion of the schedule. The Tigers’ head coach is hopeful his team can remember the mental edge it began the season with in time for conference play.
“We’re still looking for more of the mental approach we had seen earlier,” Radwanski said. “We see it as kind of a fresh start. It’s not an easy conference, and it’s definitely a challenge where we’re coming from.
“It’s not very forgiving within the conference. But I’m confident that good things will happen. At the end of the day, the byproduct comes of all the good work we’ve put in.”
Another thing Radwanski is looking for is a first impression from some of his young players. This weekend represents a prime chance for some of the new faces in the program to begin to craft their own history for Clemson women’s soccer.
“One of the good things about having freshmen out there playing is getting that youthful excitement,” Radwanski said. “When you rely on having good players, youthful energy works your way. I’m excited to see how our young players step up to meet the challenge of ACC head on.”
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