The Dolphins (0-4-0) begin Atlantic Sun conference play Friday with a game at Stetson which gets the team away from the Friday-Sunday game routine of the past couple of weeks.
“I think it helps,’’ coach Ryan Pratt said. “From a coaching standpoint, you game plan for two games and can’t put all your eggs in one basket on the Friday night game; all the energy gets spent and you don’t have any left for Sunday. From a player’s standpoint it’s a lot better. You know you’ve got the one game, and not that they don’t lay it on the line every time they play, but you’ve got one game and don’t have to save anything.’’
The Friday-Sunday duets also are new to the plethora of young players.
“We have so many guys who’ve come in and not played college soccer before, they’re not real sure and don’t know how to adjust or how many demands there are physically,’’ Pratt said. “This will be a chance to get our legs back a little. That doesn’t mean the games are going to be easy because we do play Stetson and Central Florida (one game next weekend) but to play one game on the weekend as opposed to two will be a big help.’’
The Dolphins head into the game knocking on wins door. Of the four losses, three have been by a single goal and the team has had a bit of trouble finding the net.
“Scoring goals isn’t easy,’’ Pratt said. “We’re creating chances; we just need to have a little more composure with urgency in the final third to put the chances away. It takes a lot of things to score goals. From the back forward you’ve got to have a good back line, you’ve got to have guys in the midfield who can move the ball and up front you’ve got to have a knack for the goal. I’m not sure that we’ve found that knack for the goal yet, I think we’re still searching to find it.’’
On the flip side, the Dolphins have spent a fair share of time on defense.
“Defense wins championships; the old cliché rings so true,’’ Pratt said. “We certainly have been focusing a lot of our time on the defensive aspect of things and I think that’s starting to show a little bit but we’re still making some immature decisions and decisions that are unforced that are bad errors and mistakes and those errors and mistakes are turning into goals.’’ Stetson is coming off a three-game road trip and is 0-3-0 to show for it.
“That doesn’t matter to us,’’ Pratt said. “They are perennially one of the best teams in the conference and we’re taking that approach. We certainly aren’t in a position where we can take anybody for granted otherwise we’ll go down there and get whupped.’’
Fans can follow the action on judolphins.com.
- Jim Nasella