On Thursday, Aug. 23, Petrucelli's ninth-ranked Texas Soccer team hosted a preseason meet-and-greet with local television and newspaper outlets at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Texas plays an exhibition match at New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. on Friday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. CT.
Below are Petrucelli's comments and remarks from select student-athletes on the upcoming season.
HEAD COACH Chris Petrucelli
On the quality of players on the 2007 roster: I think potentially we're better than last year. We're a bit more explosive up front. We're a year older in a lot of places, so potentially it's a better. Right now, when you're replacing seniors with freshmen, you may not be as good at this very moment, but there certainly is the potential to be good.
On any concerns at the start of the season: Certainly injuries are the thing you are always concerned about. The schedule we play is difficult, especially when we get to Big 12 Conference play. There are two games every weekend against good teams. There are certainly are a lot of traps out there for us.
On the work ethic and conditioning of U.S. National Team performer and junior defender Stephanie Logterman: Everyone who trains with Stephanie finds that they have to raise their intensity to keep up. She certainly is the definition of competing by example. There is never a time you can say Stephanie isn't working hard. She's vocal, fiery and intense. She brings people along with her.
On sophomore forward Emily Anderson's impact as a walk-on in 2006: It's extremely unusual for us to have walk-ons. Typically, you have one or two on your team, and they are not getting that much playing time. I haven't had a player who has done as well as Emily has as a walk-on ever, and I've coached for a lot of years. She's able to score goals, and she just changes games when she comes in. Emily's had the most impact of any walk-on I've ever had, even going back to [my coaching days at] Notre Dame.
[The coaching staff] didn't know what to expect from her. We got a chance to see her play and liked her athletic ability. We were not expecting her to have the impact that she did. Emily is a very good athlete big, strong and fast and she works extremely hard. When you put those two things together, good things happen.
SENIOR CAPTAIN AND ALL-AMERICAN FORWARD Kelsey Carpenter
On being ranked and whether it matters to her: It is always nice to get respect, and this program has come a long way since I've been here, so that's awesome to see. But, we don't worry about rankings. We just go out there and play our game, and we take every game one game at a time. We're excited about playing at New Mexico tomorrow, and we'll see how the rest of the season goes.
On team goals for the season: Coach Petrucelli asked us about our goals for the season in this very [UT soccer team] room on our first day of preseason training. One of the first things that was said was, 'Why can't we win a National Championship? Let's go to the College Cup. Let's do better than we've ever done in Texas Soccer history.' We always want to surpass our goals from previous years, but we have new goals this year that we've never really thought about or had, so it's definitely an exciting time.
On why this team is better than any other Texas Soccer team: We have the strongest core group returning that I've even seen since I've been here. We've got leaders in every single class from freshmen to seniors. We've got freshmen who are coming in and are vocal leaders both on and off the field, which is very encouraging to see. We have great chemistry on the field and we're coming off a great season and we're looking to do nothing less than build on to what we did last year.
JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN DEFENDER Kasey Moore
On excitement for the upcoming season: We are definitely excited to get a game under our belt tomorrow. We've been scrimmaging a lot so we're ready to play someone else. We're ready to get the freshmen out on the field and see where they fit into the mix. We're all excited and I think it's going to be a great season.
On the talent of the team: We definitely proved ourselves last year after the Penn State game, winning the conference tournament, and beating A&M when they were undefeated. We've proven our selves again and again and then Stephanie and Kelsey [Carpenter] played for the Under-21 [Women's National] Team, which is a testament to how great this program is -- not to mention the talented freshmen that we have coming into play with us.
On the next step for this team: We're definitely looking at the Big 12 Conference [regular season schedule], then the conference tournament, and the [NCAA College Cup] is something we're definitely looking forward to. Hopefully it will be in our near future. It is one of the big goals we have for this team.
SENIOR CAPTAIN AND DEFENDER Greta Carter
On the excitement of starting the season and the team's goals for the year: We had our meeting the other day to talk about our team goals, and we really feel that this year, with the depth and the new talent that we have, we can go really far or even all the way. It's exciting. If everyone's focused and determined this year, we can go as far as any [Texas team] has ever gone before or farther.
On building on the success from the 2006 season: We are getting more and more mature. We have a lot of juniors and seniors, so it will be great to have that core group of people that have experienced everything. We also have to have the new talent come in and provide a spark whenever they are needed.
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM DEFENDER AND JUNIOR CAPTAIN Stephanie Logterman
On the team's focus for the scrimmage against New Mexico: I think it will be a good test for us. We haven't played together as a team. We also bring in nine freshmen and that can make it hard to get them [in the mix right away]. I think [playing New Mexico] will be a good game for us just in terms of assimilating the freshmen into the group. Obviously you always want to win. I think it will be a good challenge for us and I think it will tell us a lot about ourselves. Hopefully, we can use it to learn a lot and build on it for next weekend when the regular season starts.
On UT's position in the preseason national rankings: The rankings are great, but you just take every game as an individual game. You go and you play your hardest and hopefully you get the result that you want which is to win. Soccer is not like football where the rankings week in and week out actually figure into the postseason play. Soccer is more like basketball where, when you make it to the [NCAA] tournament, you obviously want to do well. You want to win games during your season and then win your conference tournament. Really the big deal is making it into the NCAA's and then doing well there. By that point, rankings don't play a major role in your success.
JUNIOR ALL-BIG 12 GOALKEEPER Dianna Pfenninger
On the high expectations coming into the season: We're definitely excited to play, especially coming off of last season and having a good recruiting class come in. We have a good group of freshmen and a couple of transfers. Our team is really excited to see how we do this year and just start the season off right against New Mexico [on Friday night].
On whether or not there is pressure on the returning letterwinners to continue the program's success: I think [there is pressure] in a way, but it's also good to have a bunch of [returning letterwinners] because we have been through it. We kind of know how the season goes and we've played at this level for a couple of years now. We know what to expect.
On whether or not there is pressure as the starting UT goalkeeper to stop the attack: There is some pressure, but at the same time I have great defenders in front of me, all the way up to our forwards. We've been working a lot on defending as a team. It's just my job to clean up the little bits that come through -- which I can't complain about!
SOPHOMORE FORWARD Emily Anderson
On walking on the team and playing in her hometown of Austin: I walked on my first year so it was definitely a surprise [to make the team]. I love being here, and I didn't want to leave Austin, so it was a dream come true to play for UT. Being a part of last year's team was awesome. It was great to be able to win the Big 12 Tournament.
On the motivation of winning an NCAA Championship: Training is tough but we get through it because we're definitely out to get [to the NCAA College Cup]. We have to set our goals high. If we're going to do it, we have to train hard and expect that we can get there.