Corvallis, Ore – The Oregon State Women’s Soccer Team took to the field today for their first training session of the 2013 season.
Having spent their summers apart, playing for their respective semi-pro teams, the girls were more than ready to get back together and kick the ball around.
The Beavers have only lost four starters since last season, including Morgan Kennedy who tore her ACL over the summer before heading back for her senior season. Players returning this year include forward Jenna Richardson and goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme, both of whom were All-Pac 12 selections.
“We are trying to build off last season,” Richardson said. “Right now we are looking short-term, taking it game by game, and looking to improve each game.”
Six-year senior Chelsea Buckland will also be returning for the Beavers. Buckland sat out last season due to a knee injury, but has worked herself back to health for her final season. Richardson and Buckland are two of OSU’s leading goal scorers with 24 and 28 careers goals, respectively.
“My hope is that Jenna and Chelsea come back sharp and healthy,” said Head Coach, Linus Rhode. “Hopefully these two will click and work off of each other.”
Also returning for the Beavs is senior Jacy Drobney. Drobney is a two-year captain and will be continuing her leadership role during the upcoming season.
“There should be a lot of leadership coming from the senior players,” Drobney said. “We have so many upperclassmen this year that can help lead the freshmen.”
The six incoming freshmen will be challenging the returners for playing time, as well as helping fill in the gap felt by graduation and injury.
“A lot of them are coming into positions we lost or struggled with last year,” Drobney said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about these players being quick and able to adapt to the college game.”
The coaching staff is optimistic about this season and based on the personnel they have, there may be some change in formation.
“Our goal is to go from the diamond and build from there,” Rhode said. “I want to have the ability to play more than that; we’re going to look at the box and a 4-3-3 and help them through it so we have the ability to play more than one formation.”
Based on the first day of training, the Beavs are looking fit and excited to be back on the pitch. With a competitive schedule this year, the team is looking to get a good start from day one, and continue to stay sharp throughout two-a-days.
The Beavers will head to Florida later this month, taking on Florida State on August 23 and Florida on August 25.