Siloam Springs, Ark. (August 2, 2007) - With three weeks left before the start of the 2007 soccer season, the John Brown University women’s soccer team is gearing up for action this fall. However, instead of the traditional two-a-days, the team is taking their preseason act to Northern Ireland.
On Thursday morning, the team left for a twelve day stay in Dundrum, Ireland. During their stay, the team plans to complete preseason conditioning. In addition, they also intend to host a soccer camp for the local youth.
“In the afternoons we’ll be teaching soccer, kickball, and doing different drills with the kids,” said head coach Joe Thoma. “This will also give us the opportunity to share our testimonies and build relationships with the people of Northern Ireland.”
The Lady Golden Eagles will also participate in two scrimmages while there. The first will be against the Ireland Under-17 National Team, and then the team will travel to Scotland to compete against Edinburgh Ladies.
Although she believes the European style of play is more aggressive, senior defender Alison Boster thinks the competition will prepare them for the tough Sooner Athletic Conference play.
“The girls over there are really strong, so they should toughen us up,” said Boster. “It will definitely get us ready for the SAC.”
Senior defender Jaclyn Raymond also feels this preseason will give the young team a chance to bond and learn more about each others abilities.
“With fifteen new players joining the team and only three seniors, our main goal is to get to know how everyone plays and begin to gel,” said Raymond.
Thoma added, “I’m excited about the group that’s coming in, and hopefully this trip will help us get prepared to get back to the top of the conference and postseason play.”
Last season, the team missed postseason play finishing 6-11-1 overall and 6-7-1 in the SAC. In 2005, the women made their first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament.