Abdalla: Playing hard is key

The Frogs will play their final two home games of the 2005 season when they host Nevada-Las Vegas and San Diego State this weekend at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.Head coach Dan Abdalla said he wants to treat the game against UNLV like any other game, even though he served as the Rebels head coach from 2000-2004.

“It’s just going to be another game,” Abdalla said. “They’re going to play hard, we’re going to play hard and it’s just going to come down to which team will be able to execute.”

Abdalla said nothing will change about the Frogs’ game this weekend, even though the season is winding down.

“We haven’t changed anything from what we’ve been doing all year,” Abdalla said. “We’re doing things about the same. This last weekend was one of the hardest road trips in the country, and we didn’t quite step up to the challenge. Now, we’re back on our home ground, and we just need to be more efficient offensively, and if we give better effort, we’ll be in good shape.”

Abdalla said the team needs to stay more focused.

“We just let some things affect us that we didn’t have control over,” Abdalla said. “We know that if we play hard, we’re going to be competitive in games, so the biggest key for us it to make sure we’re playing hard in every game. This last road trip had some things that made us distracted and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be to be competitive.”

Abdalla said the team needs to forget the past and focus on the future.

“We played tough against Utah, and I think that kind of took as down a little bit in the second game,” Abdalla said. “We just need to get over it and go on a game-to-game basis and not dwell on what went on in the past, whether it was a win or a loss.”

Junior midfielder Kim Thompson said she thinks the team will come out to play in its final homestand.

“I think after losing this last weekend, we’ll come out this weekend ready to win,” Thompson said. “Losing isn’t fun, and we want to even up our conference record. I think it will be a good game if we come out and play our best with intensity. This weekend is our last two home games, and home is a lot better environment, so I think it’ll be a good match.”

Thompson said the team needs to play aggressively.

“We just need everyone to give it their best because we all work off each other,” Thompson said. “As long as we don’t play scared or intimidated, and play our best, then I think we have a chance to win conference and go on.”

Thompson said the team has figured out what its level of play has to be in order to win.

“We played Brigham Young already, which is like the best team in the conference, so we know what we’re up against so I think we can do it (advance into the conference tournament),” Thompson said.

Junior defender Breanne Kaldheim said teamwork is key to the team’s success.

“We need to get better organization and communication and get everyone on the same page, while motivating people at the same time as one group,” Kaldheim said. “We need to play hard all the time, and with heart.”

The team will play UNLV Friday and San Diego State on Sunday at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.