Team chemistry leads to promising future

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    The soccer team is anticipating even more improvement since the team and many returning players have continued to progress during the preseason practices, Dan Abdalla, head coach, said.

    According to a press release, the team ended last season with 14 wins, the best record in team history.

    Abdalla said the team is expecting more success this year.

    “I’m just really excited,” Abdalla said. “We’ve come together really well as a team.”

    Abdalla also said some returning players, like senior forward Lizzy Karoly and sophomore forward Jordan Calhoun, have improved in terms of their movement. Sophomore defender and midfielder Alex Mechalske has gotten more comfortable after being injured last year and junior goalkeeper Kelsey Walters has been more vocal and more of a leader on the field, Abdalla said.

    The high number of returning players is a contributor to the team’s ability to continue progressing, Abdalla said. With ten returning starters this season, Abdalla said this makes it easier to focus on more creative elements of the game.

    “We’ve done a couple things differently because we’ve had so many returning players,” he said. “We didn’t have to go back and necessarily spend as much time on the simple things. We’ve introduced a few more things in terms of more creativity offensively and defensively.”

    Karoly said some of the new things the team is trying is getting everyone involved in the offense.

    “We want to make sure that the outside midfielders are getting (the ball) in the box,” Karoly said.

    Abdalla said the maturing defense is helping the team’s continuous progression this year.

    He also said the freshmen are starting to contribute positively to the team.

    Katie Taylor, a sophomore defender, said the team’s chemistry on the field is a strong point this year.

    According to its Web site, the team finished third in 2008 in the conference behind BYU and Utah. Abdalla said the team cannot take any games for granted because the conference is so competitive.

    “I think that’s what is good about our conference,” Abdalla said. “Anybody can win and there won’t be any easy games at all.”

    The Mountain West Conference coach’s poll predicted that TCU will finish second in the conference behind BYU.

    “I think we are going to have a really good season, even better than last year,” Karoly said. “We have a lot of goals we want to accomplish.”

    Karoly said the goals for this year include winning the conference, getting a conference championship and qualifying for an NCAA tournament.

    “With the work we are putting in now we will be able to accomplish these goals,” Karoly said.