The incoming rookie talent for the soccer team has gained recogonition in the collegiate soccer world as exhibition play begins.With a recruiting class ranked 40th by Soccer Buzz Magazine and 16 returning players, head coach Dan Abdalla said the preseason training was used to get the players acquainted with one another to see how the team will fit together.
The Horned Frogs first preseason game is tonight against the Stephen F. Austin University Ladyjacks in Nacogdoches.
The game is the first of two preseason contests and Abdalla said this game will give the players an opportunity to showcase what the team has accomplished during preseason training.
“It’s been a good preseason and now we can see how it will translate against opponents,” Abdalla said.
Senior Angie Nickens said there is an excited air about the team and that she is ready to finally start playing.
“The freshmen have stepped up and done exactly what we expected from them,” Nickens said. “There’s a good vibe on the team knowing we have talent and we’re going to be able to achieve what we want.”
In terms of leadership this season, Abdalla said the team will look for leaders to guide the team, but that there is enough talent that they don’t have to rely on one player to score all the goals.
Four players from the 2006 squad graduated in the spring, but the team keeps the core of its offense for the 2007 campaign. Last season’s lead scorer, striker Lizzy Karoly and assist leader, midfielder Michelle Nguyen will both return for their sophomore season.
“We’ve got a couple of players who have potential to score 10-plus goals, but they aren’t going to have to because we have eight players who have the ability to be dangerous,” Abdalla said.
Last season TCU finished the season with an overall record of 6-8-4 and injuries to several players including Nickens and then-junior Lauren Pope.
This season the Lady Frogs return to the field healthy and will face an SFASU team that went 9-8-1 last season.
TCU will return home to play Oklahoma State University Saturday, Aug. 25 before beginning the regular season at the University of Texas at Austin.