Aug. 9, 2008
RUSTON - Seventeen newcomers began their Louisiana Tech soccer careers this weekend as the Lady Techster soccer team took to the pitch Saturday for the beginning of preseason drills.
The team conducted its two-mile test on Friday night, then practiced three times on Saturday and will continue to do so each day until the beginning of the regular season on Aug. 29.
"It was a good first day of practice," second-year head coach Kevin Sherry said. "We are going to be a mostly young team, so there will be some growing pains along the way. The freshmen have to learn how to play at a higher level, but that will come with time. And we're in better physical shape than we were at this point last year, but we still have some work to do on that front as well. All in all, I was pleased with the first day."
The 17 rookies joined 14 Lady Techster veterans for a 7 a.m. practice, weights/conditioning at 2 p.m. and another workout at 6:30 p.m. The team will follow the same general schedule over the next three weeks leading up to the season opener at North Texas.
Tech's players and coaches enjoyed comparatively cooler temperatures on Saturday evening on the Tech rugby field as they ran short-sided scrimmages for about 45 minutes with the freshmen - most notably the five rookie goalkeepers - seeing plenty of action.
"It's still going to take a little time for everyone to really mesh," assistant coach Sam Clark said. "But the lines of communication between the freshmen, the returning players and the coaches have been very open so far. Everyone feels like they can communicate with each other, and everyone has been comfortable with each other. That's a good sign, especially this early in the practice schedule."
The team will participate in Sunday's "Fan Day" festivities at the Thomas Assembly Center, slated to begin at approximately 4 p.m. All Tech fans are invited to meet the team and bring merchandise for autographs, as well as meet the Lady Techster volleyball and Bulldog football teams.