Athletics Q&A with junior forward Laura Hurlbut
By KATIE RUTLEDGE
Junior Laura Hurlbut made a position switch from defense to offense this year and its paid off. A two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week selection, Hurlbut leads the UMSL Tritons with four goals.
With a team-high four goals this season, what has led you to be so successful on offense this season?
I think just being given the opportunity by my coach to try myself at forward is what has led me to be successful, and the desire to score. I always wanted to score as a back but I got very few chances.
You were a back in your first two years at UMSL. Why the change this season?
I haven’t played any position other than a back at UMSL until this year. Based on some games in the spring, Coach (Wendy) Dillinger thought my speed and fearlessness could benefit the team better as a forward.
Can you describe what your role has been as a back?
There are different specific roles as a back depending on where you are playing, whether it be on the outside or in the center, but the ultimate role as a back is to defend the space behind you and always keep the play in front of you.
With less than half of the season left what is Coach Dillinger focusing on in practice?
We take it week-by-week. She sees what we need to work on based on our games the previous weekend and we go from there, but the past couple weeks we have done a lot of shooting, finishing and offensive attacking patterns.
What has changed this year in comparison to previous years?
A lot has changed, especially with there being a new coach. But I think the most obvious and important is the general attitude and atmosphere of the team. We know what is expected of us and Coach Dillinger makes us want to exceed those expectations.
What is the team emphasizing as you travel to Indianapolis and St. Joseph’s this weekend?
There are no easy games in our conference, but we are playing two beatable teams this weekend. If we get out of our scoring drought and put some balls in the back of the net this weekend I have no doubt we can come out with two wins.
What are some team and personal goals you have for the remainder of the season?
I think our team has so much talent and the scores of our past losses don’t accurately reflect the games at all. We all want to finish the season above .500 and if we can start scoring, we have a really good chance of reaching that goal. As for a personal goal, I wouldn’t mind helping my team out by being the one to put one of those goals in.
What is your favorite memory of UMSL soccer?
Being named the GLVC Offensive Player of the Week twice this year with the support of my teammates and both of those awards coming off a two-game winning weekend.
Katie Rutledge is a UMSL senior majoring in education with an emphasis in elementary education. She’s also an outfielder on the UMSL softball team and an athletics media intern.
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