Posted Aug 11, 2006 11:27:55
Lady Techster Soccer Returners Molding Team
RUSTON, La. – After less than a week of practice, the 2006 Louisiana Tech Lady Techster soccer team is seeing the benefits of a large group of returners.
Coach Jennifer Burns said after having a hefty amount of freshmen last year, this year’s transition for incoming freshman has been smooth with the 14 returners taking the newcomers under their wings.
“It really helps with off the field things,” Burns said. “They are including the freshmen and making them comfortable. Last year we struggled with the transition to the college game on the field. This year the freshmen realize, ‘I have to do this to compete at this level.’”
Junior Laura Williamson is the only player on the team to be with the program since its inception in 2004. She said having a large sophomore class to help the newcomers with the transition and lead the way has made starting 2006 an easier task than years past.
“The team has meshed well. Everyone is finding their place. It’s a whole new atmosphere, and it feels really good out here,” Williamson said. “It feels a lot better having older people with me this year. You don’t have to get to know people and you already know how people play on the field. It makes things a lot easier.”
The improvements can already be seen on the Lady Techsters. Entering the third year of the program Burns said as her first recruiting class grows older, they will only learn more and be able to mold the program into something they take pride in.
“We’re already better than we were last fall and in the spring. If we can stay healthy, I think we could have a great season,” Burns said. “These girls know there will be others coming in after them and this is their chance to show them how we do things here and how it is supposed to be.”
The Lady Techsters will get their first test in 2006 at Nicholls State on August 25. Tech defeated the Lady Colonels 7-0 last season and is looking to win its first season opener in school history. Williamson said she believes the team can start the season strong and make some noise if Tech continues its path.
“Everything is a lot more positive. The communication is better and everyone is putting forth their best effort,” Williamson said. “I think we can surprise some people this year if we can build off what we did last year and keep improving.”