Aug. 13, 2012
RUSTON -- The Lady Techsters hit the soccer field this morning under bright blue skies to begin their second week of fall practice in preparation for their 2012 season opener this Saturday.
Week one was spent working primarily on physical conditioning and maintaining offensive positioning. The drills consisted of being able to time your runs to receive passes and keeping depth on the outside lines while possessing the ball.
"It's important that whenever we have the ball that we spread the field out lengthwise and widthwise to make the opposition run farther," said head coach Kevin Sherry. "It's much more difficult for the opposition to put pressure on us because if we're too close together we're easily pressed and it's more difficult to keep possession of the ball."
This possession-style offense requires quick, constant movements of the ball and so far the coaches are pleased with how the multi-talented freshmen have been able to keep pace with the returners heading into week two of practice.
"About half of the freshmen you can see they really have come in prepared and are working really hard and want to be a part of this," said Sherry. "Freshmen Laura LeFevour, Brittany Beddow and Nicole Jaquemet are doing really well. They're gelling with the returners and the returners as a whole are a great group and have come in in great shape so they're a good role model for the freshmen."
Starting today and continuing through this week the coaches and players will shift more of their attention to the defensive side of the ball. Today they worked on maintaining their compact, defensive positioning while the ball is transitioning from offense to defense and side to side.
"I think it's vital that me and the other senior [Lindsay Brough] perform leadership because over half the team are freshmen, so with not a lot of upperclassmen it's important to bring them together and get them into the team philosophy quickly," said Rockwell.
The goalkeepers spend the majority of their time working on individual drills of their own, but returning junior goalkeeper Caitlin Updyke who recorded eight shutouts last year looks to step up her game and leadership role even more this year.
"Team chemistry is going really well," said Updyke. "Personally, I'm looking to improve on everything. I want to be more communicative with my defense and be more explosive, just overall improve."
Only five days remain before the Lady Techsters open up the 2012 season versus Murray State at 1 p.m. at the Lady Techster Soccer Complex.
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