Soccer Set To Open Practice Wednesday

Kelly Johnson is one of the top returning scorers.

Aug. 6, 2013

FORT WORTH - The TCU women's soccer team is slated to begin fall practice Wednesday morning. Eric Bell begins his second season as the head coach and welcomes back 11 members from the 2012 squad that advanced to the championship game of the Big 12 tournament.

In addition to the 11 returnees, TCU welcomes 15 newcomers to the field this season. The group features a pair of transfers as well as 13 talented freshmen from around the country.

The team will jump right into days full of activities. Players reported to campus Monday before a day filled with meetings on Tuesday. Wednesday will begin bright and early with the breakfast club at 6 a.m. before conditioning tests in the morning. The first full training session is slated to begin Wednesday afternoon.

Bell took some time on Tuesday to talk about the upcoming training camp as well as his expectations for the start of the season.

GF: There are 15 newcomers this fall. How do you balance team building as well as preparing for the upcoming season?

EB: I think it's going to be kind of tricky. I don't know if I have a prescription on how it's going to go, but we will try to work on both of them as we move forward. It's hard to do all the team building stuff because you are so focused on the soccer portion, but as the season goes on and we get used to what we are trying to do from a soccer perspective then we will start focusing on the team dynamic.

GF: You open the season with four road matches. Is there a benefit to opening the season on the road?

EB: I think so. There are some positives where you can get everybody sequestered if you will. We spend a lot of time together. That's a time where you can do some team building exercises. Of course you would like to be home for your first game, but it takes away some of the distractions of family and friends and gets your focus on soccer.

GF: You are going into your second season. Have your expectations changed this season?

EB: The goal is always to be able to compete to win national championships. The expectations this year are "how are you going to do that." I think the first step is to get into the NCAA Tournament. Playing in November after the Big 12 Tournament is going to be very important for us in laying the foundation of what we want to do going forward. The expectation is to be one of the 64 teams in the tournament and going from there.

GF: Advancing to the Big 12 Championships last year, does that motivate the team for this season?

EB: It'll be interesting. For the kids that are returning, they want to advance out of that and move on to the NCAA tournament. I think the also want to win the Big 12 tournament. They look at it like they were one game away from winning it all and want to leave with a lasting impression on the program. For the newcomers, they came in with the idea of competing for a national championship. This is the first group we are bringing in and they are coming in to compete for playing time and help us win.

GF: Does the youth push the veterans?

EB: I think they will. We want to have the most competitive environment. Hopefully this year we will be a lot more competitive in our trainings and as we move forward it'll be more competitive. I think that they will push them and I think a lot of the younger kids will push for playing time early, so we'll see what happens.

GF: What should fans expect to see from the 2013 Horned Frogs.

EB: Hopefully we can improve upon where we left off last season and play an attractive style of soccer while being very organized defensively. Hopefully, scoring a bunch of goals and not giving up too many. At the end of the day it's about getting a win. We will be focused in on every game and trying to win each individual game. We want to try to do it from an old workman-like process and respect every opponent we have while preparing diligently for them. If we can do that on a regular basis, I like our chances.

TCU opens the 2013 campaign on Aug. 23 at the Montana Invitational against Wyoming at 4 p.m. (CST)



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