Preparations for 2005 Soccer season underway
AUSTIN, Texas -- Eleven returners and nine newcomers for University of Texas head coach Chris Petrucelli's 2005 women's soccer team took the field at Myers Stadium for their first preseason training session on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 11.
Following an exciting 2004 campaign in which the Horns tallied a school-record 15 wins and reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament, players and coaches alike were anxious to kick off the new year.
"The entire team was excited to get back on the field and play," Petrucelli said. "Everyone's anticipation (for the upcoming season) was obvious in how hard they played once they stepped between the lines."
Over the 90-minute practice, the Longhorns ran a number of drills working on individual defending. With a team that includes only two seniors and the graduation of most of last year's defensive line, Petrucelli plans to spend the early part of preseason practice focusing on defense.
"Coach Petrucelli worked with the team on one-to-one defending and also helped us with organizing our backline," senior Julie Gailey said. "We want to stop the goals before we think about scoring our own."
Even with areas to work on, the seventh-year head coach is looking forward to the coming year.
"This is a very exciting and talented group," Petrucelli said. "Their conditioning and energy are good. They appear ready to start the year."
Texas' returning players echoed his sentiments following their first practice as a unit.
"We lost a lot of great seniors from last year's team, but we have a lot of potential with the cohesive group of girls that make up our current roster," junior Amy Burlingham said. "We are ready to put forth a tremendous effort."
The Longhorns continue preseason practice (check TexasSports.com for days and times) until their opener at Myers Stadium on Friday, Aug. 26 against SMU at 7:30 p.m. Central.