12 returnees, 12 newcomers make for balanced roster
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech soccer team opened up its fall camp Wednesday, getting things started with a scrimmige between the 12 returnees and the 12 newcomers on the 2009 Golden Eagle roster.
With a large freshman class, and a 24-player roster overall, second-year head coach Becky Fletcher and first-year assistant Ronda Brooks will work on developing team chemistry with many two-a-day practice sessions scheduled during the fall camp.
"We want the freshmen to understand that they need the upperclassmen, and we want the upperclassmen to know that they are going to need the freshmen," Fletcher said. "They will all make each other better, and that's what we're looking forward to seeing during our fall practices. We want to break everything down, and build it all back up. Our goal is to get better with every practice session."
Having a large roster is one asset Fletcher is happy to have in 2009.
"For all theses upperclassmen, this is the first time they've ever come to fall camp and been able to have a full scrimmage," Fletcher said. "In the past, there just weren't enough players."
The Golden Eagles have just over two weeks before opening up regular season play on August 21 when they host in-state rival Middle Tennessee.
"Right now we're preparing for that first match," Fletcher said. "August 21 is the date we have circled on our calendar. We need to get a lot of work done before that date."
The 60-minute scrimmage gave Fletcher and Brooks their first look at the team since the spring, and the coaching staff said they were impressed with the players work rate and attitudes.
"There was a little bit of a different feel today than in the past," Fletcher said. "There was a lot of positive energy. The girls really wanted to be here, and there was a competitive spirit."
Last year, Fletcher led the Golden Eagles to their first Ohio Valley Conference tounament in five seasons, and aims even higher this season.
"Our goal is to get better each year. It started with making the OVC tournament last season, and we want to keep improving from there. Finishing with the same results year after year is not going to be good enough."