Through the end of the year, InsideGSUSports will have a different student-athlete(s) talk about a different topic every week. Topics will range from how practice is going to an event that they are looking forward to coming up. It will be their chance to talk about what is going on with their sport.
For our first women’s soccer student-athlete feature, Alyssia Feronti discusses the upcoming Sun Belt Conference tournament and how quickly the season has flown by.
With the Sun Belt Conference tournament right around the corner, the excitement is starting to kick in! Feels like yesterday I was preparing myself for our preseason fitness tests, and now 12 weeks later, I am preparing for the conference tournament. Our first round is against South Alabama. The last time we played them, it was a crazy game that we thought we would win. However, in the last few minutes of the game, our opponent scored. It was devastating. This time around, I feel like this game is redemption. We have worked hard since our first encounter with South Alabama. I believe we are more prepared and hopefully it will show in our game. It is a chance for my team and myself to prove that we deserve this win.
My freshman year, I helped the team advance to the CAA Tournament in 2010. It was an honor to represent Georgia State University in the tournament. However, I am even more proud to represent my school again as a senior. I hope that my experiences of being in a previous conference tournament will help me show leadership and confidence throughout our remaining games. I have to control my emotions as I am nervous and anxious for the Sun Belt Conference tournament to begin. Luckily, I have a great group of teammates and coaches behind me to keep me motivated.
Traveling is one of the highlights of the season. So many memories are created on these trips that will always be cherished. It gives the team a chance to get to know one another better, which helps to make a stronger connection when we are playing on the field. As many people may know, there are many hours spent in the hotels. To help pass the time, we do homework, but often find time to play charades, crack jokes or watch the Food Network. If we are not catching the next episode of Chopped, we are more than likely watching the back of our eyelids. I myself believe that I have a disease when it comes to falling asleep. It usually takes me a minute to catch the zzzz’s once the bus is moving. I know Coach Derek disapproved of that when he first started, but has grown to accept that a girl needs her rest.
Before games our team gathers in the locker room. To help us get pumped up for the game we like to sing and dance to put on our own little concert. This seems to be the one ritual that has carried over since my freshman year. It is a great way to relax and calm the nerves. This year especially, we have had a strong support group from all our crazy parents. Being away from home, I do not know what I would have done without the support of all the parents. Our parents provide us post-game food to help us re-fuel. They are there to congratulate us on our wins. Then most importantly, they extend their loving and supporting hugs through the hard times. We all have become one big family. My heartfelt gratitude is extended to all who have helped my team and me throughout the years.
We have one week to prepare ourselves mentally and physically for the conference tournament because it can be a grind with three games in five days. This is the most important week of practice for all of us. Everyone needs to come to each day of practice focused and ready to compete. We want this season to continue to the NCAA tournament. We are a strong group of players and we will put everything on the field to succeed.
I am blessed to be a GSU Panther.