Updated Fri, Aug 10, 2012 11:53 am
The Ohio soccer team has about a week of fall camp under its belt with a exhibition game on Sunday against Eastern Kentucky.
The team has completed the fitness portion of camp and is now moved into practices, which both players and coach Stacy Strauss say is coming along smoothly.
"We are getting a lot of drills in," senior midfielder Cat Rogers said. "We did a lot of shooting today which was really fun and being able to get those touches in."
"We have been working on a new formation and we are switching our style of play up a little bit and with two practices before our exhibition game, everything is going really well," senior forward Veronica Rock said.
"I would say that we are further along in terms of our development, specifically our offensive movement, Strauss said. "The players have seemed to really gel quite quickly and there has been a lot of good offensive scoring chances have been created."
"Our team chemistry is great," red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Fyran said. "I love how everyone is supporting everyone. We are very fit this season compared to other seasons. Everything is sort of clicking at the right time."
Last season, the 'Cats finished 9-13-3 overall and 4-5-2 in conference play. The players are ready to take the field for 2012, and are looking to start and end the season on the right note.
"I think the big thing is finishing," Rogers said. "Last year we had a good start and then didn’t finish off the season so we want to finish [the season] better. We need to be more consistent and score more goals. That was a struggling area for us last year."
"Like Cat said earlier, [our goal is] finishing," Fryan said. "We definitely need to finish out our season and we always want to win a MAC championship because who doesn’t love that."
The exhibition game Sunday will be a chance for both the players and the coaches to work certain things out on the field.
"I think the exhibition is going to give us a chance to see where we want certain players to go, " Rock said. "We just want to see how our formation looks against a different opponent other than ourselves. I think it will be an awesome chance to see how the starting 11 look."
"I think it will be a good first test," Rogers said. "It’s a good starting point to see where we can move from there and what we need to improve after that."
"I know it will help the coaching staff sort out some decisions in our line up and figure out how the team best fits together, Strauss said. "Just trying to put the pieces in place within the puzzle and sort out who fits best where on the field and with what players around them."
Sunday will be the first step for Ohio to reach its goals this season, and will be the first live sporting event of Ohio's 2012 Fall Season.
Fryan said that every MAC game is important and that games against rival Miami and fellow MAC opponent Toledo will stand out on the caldendar. Last year, Toledo defeated Ohio 8-0 in the MAC Championship tournament, so the 'Cats want to be ready to take on the Rockets this year.
Yet in Rock's mind, each game is just as important as the other.
"I don’t think we’ve really marked every game on our calendar," Rock said. "I think we just want to take every game the same. We don’t want to put anyone up on a pedestal or anything. I think we are just going to approach this season one game at a time."