As the season approaches, the University of Indianapolis women’s soccer team is focusing its camp on rebuilding the players skills from the ground up.
“[We are] definitely going back to the basics and the fundamentals of what soccer is and how to be successful,” Head Women’s Coach Holly Cox said. “We challenge technically and tactically. We are sort of different [from other camps]. A lot of it for us is going over plays. The tough thing about soccer is that we don’t have any routine plays. It’s kind of dependent on the teams and us. What we do for meetings is that we will start to go over our rules, regulations and expectations for season, our goals. We’ll also meet individually to kind of touch base with individual goals and figure out what they want out of the season… You can definitely overkill on meetings and we try to have that nice balance of where we’re not trying to do too much talking we’d rather do on the field.”
The week before practices officially begin, the women conduct what they call captains’ week, where the older individuals on the team hold conditioning and practice sessions to get ready for the year. The younger players and those who live farther away stay with their teammates who live on campus, which also serves as a bonding experience for the team, according to junior midfield/forward Stephanie Burdsall.
Despite having a short time to work with the players before the beginning of the season, Cox and Burdsall agreed that this year the team will be much more experienced and the younger players are ready to learn and grow into the team.
“We’ll be somewhat young. We have a really big junior class, but we only have one senior this year,” Cox said. “So the nice thing is that we don’t lose too many. So it’s going to be really, really nice to have a big chunk of the team returning for the spring season and for next fall season. We’ve brought in a few more dynamic forwards. We’re looking to be a little more versatile in the attack and a little more support for Stephanie Burdsall up top… I think we’re going to be better than we have been just because of the personnel we’ve brought in… I think why we’ll be better is because we have returning a big chunk of impactful players for this up-and-coming season and a big impactful group that have played a lot of minutes. So that experience from year to year. That junior class-take Stephanie Burdsall-played big minutes freshman year and sophomore year. She knows exactly what to expect for junior year. I think this group is really, really ready to learn and are really ready to work extremely hard. So I’m pumped.”
The team’s first game is set for Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. against Urbana University in Urbana Ohio.