Aug. 19, 2009
RUSTON -- After working hard for the past week-and-a-half, the Louisiana Tech women's soccer team is excited for their season opener on Friday against Lamar at the new Lady Techster Soccer Field.
Since preseason began for the squad on Aug. 9, the Lady Techsters have focused on physical conditioning, technical skills and several phases of play.
With only two days remaining until the team's inaugural match on their new pitch, Tech head coach Kevin Sherry has been impressed with the team's willingness and ability to execute his style of play.
"Our philosophy as a program is to play a style of soccer that involves a great deal of passing and moving as opposed to more of a direct style of play, which a lot of teams use," Sherry said. "The players have welcomed our style and can put it into action."
Nine true freshmen will dawn the Lady Techster jersey for the first time in just a few days. The team's 15 returning players have welcomed the newcomers both on and off the field.
"Our returning players have created an atmosphere that allows our freshmen to be themselves," assistant coach Chelsea Stewart said. "They have done a great job of accepting our newcomers and making them feel welcome. The freshmen are confident in themselves and each other on the field and that is priceless, especially with the competition we face in our conference."
Sherry has noticed a great deal of progression in fifth-year midfielder Kat McCullough and senior forward/midfielder Hikari Kurokawa. Last season, McCullough contributed two goals and four assists in 18 games played. Kurokawa, a junior transfer from Waseda University in Japan, also scored twice and added three assists.
Sherry believes each player on the squad can be considered a leader, but noted junior Kiva Gresham has emerged as the team's captain.
"Each player possesses the same work ethic and vision," Sherry added. "They are all on the same page and each one wants to contribute any way possible."
In the team's final few workouts leading up to its season opener against Lamar on Friday at 5 p.m., Sherry and his staff will continue to assess the strengths of the Techsters.
"By Friday, our team will be physically and emotionally prepared," Sherry said. "We will know which players can play at each position, and the players will have an understanding of their role in regards to their position on the team."