Clarksville, TN – There haven’t been a lot of wins so far this fall for Austin Peay teams, but with Ohio Valley Conference contests right around the corner, don’t count out the Governors or Lady Govs just yet.
Overall win-loss records are important, without a question, but it’s the OVC games that mean more than the pre-season with berths into the postseason keyed on those contests.For Lady Govs soccer, they currently sit with a 1-6 record — including all six losses coming by way of shutouts.
But their defense hasn’t been playing that poorly, giving up just over two goals per game, with three of the losses (Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Mississippi) being 2-0 losses — while Kennesaw State University was a 1-0 setback.
Also, along with Ole Miss, the Lady Govs played Southeastern Conference member University of Alabama, so the preseason schedule had been daunting.
With the OVC opener versus Eastern Kentucky University coming on September 26th and just one non-conference match (Samford University) left the offense needs to find its footing – and quickly.
All-OVC performer Gina Fabbro (sophomore forward) has been shutout so far this season from breaking into the scoring column, while all-conference senior defender/midfielder Shelby Olszewski has missed the entire season with an injury.
But it’s more than just those two that have struggled on the offensive end of the field, several of the returning Lady Govs that have been contributing players in the past haven’t filled the roll of being the ones to be in the spotlight and not in the background as of yet.
If they find their offensive swagger the way their defense is playing so far, they have a chance to make some noise in OVC play.
With volleyball, they enter the week with a 3-8 overall record, but losses to Troy State, South Carolina Upstate, Akron University and Western Kentucky University could have all just have been wins instead of losses.
The Lady Govs also play eighth-ranking Purdue University well in a losing effort, with it as well as all of the other matches coming on the road.
Austin Peay will finally get a home match on September 16th versus the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, before playing in the University of Tennessee Invitational on September 18th through 20th before opening OVC play versus Tennessee Martin on September 26th.
So with five matches left before the OVC opener they need to find the consistency they show in for a game or two here and there, but not be able to put three consistent game together in a single match.
And finally, the Governors football team is 0-2 after two lopsided losses to the University of Memphis and Tennessee Chattanooga.
They open OVC play on September 20th against defending OVC champion Eastern Illinois University with a lot of work yet to do.
But where no one is pleased with the outcomes so far this season, there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
The young wide receivers are showing a lot of promise; the team is continuing to build its depth at each position and getting much needed experience. Defensively, the line is doing much better this season and these are just some of the highlights in the first two games.
But the big thing right now is they need time.
With over half of this year’s team being freshmen or sophomores the trials and tribulations of youth will be suffered this season, but before the year is done Governors fans will see more of the improvements — although a winning season probably isn’t in the cards in 2014.
So for football, hard work and time will be the biggest factors for their rise in OVC play in the future and that maybe the hardest of all to face.
Despite the slow starts for soccer, volleyball and football, the OVC schedule is a second season and with a little luck a better finish.