Training Camp Report - Women's Soccer
August 15, 2014
SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. – The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) women’s soccer team is wrapping up its first week of camp after returning to campus from summer break on Sunday.
All 17 members of the 2014 women's soccer team were in attendance this week as head coach Mike Aycock and assistant coach Alexis Rusch began evaluating and preparing the Pomeroys for their 2014 campaign.
Coach Aycock is impressed with the women so far as they have entered this year’s camp in excellent shape. “Everyone has shown up in better shape than they generally do, so this is a great start,” said coach Aycock. The fitness level of the team isn’t something that just the coaching staff is noticing; the players can see a difference as well. “We have come into camp this year in better shape, and we are playing much faster due to our fitness,” said junior Dulce Chavez. “Our fitness level is allowing us to play smarter, which in turn is helping us perform at a higher level,” added Chavez.
The condition of the team has allowed for a faster pace of camp than in years past, which has allowed for even more time to develop the necessary skills to have a successful 2014 campaign. “This week, we have been able to work on the things that are fundamental to succeeding; possessing the ball, defending, attacking, and finishing,” said coach Aycock.
While camp is important for developing the skills required to be successful, it also serves as a time for the team to bond together. “We have meshed better this year than we have in the past, which makes it a lot of fun,” said junior Kylee White. “We have to mesh in these early weeks in order to be successful, and I think we have done a good job of that,” added White.
The combination of fitness and team chemistry has led to a more productive camp for the Pomeroys. “We are communicating much better, which is allowing us to connect on our passes and create more opportunities for shots on goal,” said senior Sarah Robinson.
The 2014 team returns several key players including USCAA First Team All-American Amanda Loebker and center defender Dulce Chavez. “In front, Amanda Loebker has done a great job of showing strength and being clever about getting opportunities and finishing them,” said coach Aycock, when asked about the individual performances he has seen in camp. Loebker led the team in goals last season with 15, which set the SMWC school record for goals in one season. While Loebker looks to provide the offense with firepower, defensively Chavez looks to make an impact as well. “Dulce Chavez will again be a rock for us at center back,” added coach Aycock.
“I am excited for this season, we have started off much better than we have in the past, and I am excited to see how far we can go,” said Loebker, when asked about her first impressions of the team during camp.
“I am seeing a lot of really good things, promising things, and you can see by watching that the level at which they are training is very high. It’s a high technical level, a high level of awareness, and a high speed of play, which makes me optimistic,” said coach Aycock.
The Pomeroys will have one more practice session on Friday evening before heading into their second week of camp. The Pomeroys will begin their 2014 campaign August 30th on the road, when they travel to Whiting, Ind., to take part in the Calumet College of St. Joseph Tournament. The Tournament is a two day event that will see SMWC take on Calumet College of St. Joseph on the 30th and then either Shawnee State or Clarke on the 31st.