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Hey JU! Welcome back to reality from the bliss of summer vacation. I hope you are ready to join me and my teammates as we venture into another season! This is not just any season, this is my SENIOR season. This is my last chance to play on a team with 26 of my closest friends at a Division I level where the competition is great but the memories are greater. Let’s get at it this year ladies!

Here are some of the things we’ve been doing since stepping foot onto JU’s campus:

Day 1: Everyone drives to JU, we meet and greet, scream and laugh and giggle, and drench ourselves in sweat as we move our entire “lives” in from the car to our new room. The girls are grinning from ear to ear with excitement over seeing each other once again.

Day 2- Day 9 (all basically the same): Fitness test in the morning before the sun rises followed by two practices a day. The number of sessions we endured comes to a grand total of 21. Although the smiles were present, the size of them decreased to merely a grin.

Now we did have some fun in the sun during that week. One practice we found ourselves at the beach (which I’m sure played a part in everyone’s decision to come here, however great or small). We separated into teams of four to complete a scavenger hunt on the beach and the surrounding shops.

For warm-up one afternoon, coach decided to let the inner animal out of us. We played a game in which there were two teams. The goal was to get as many players from one side of the grid to the other side without being tagged by a soccer ball. Team 1 would try first and then Team 2 would try. Team 1 was on the sides of grid tagging players by passing, back heeling, bouncing, heading, and rolling the balls towards Team 2 in the middle.

Team 2 was challenged to get across the grid by first jogging, then crab walking, the bear crawling, and leap frogging. Not all of us look graceful when crossing the grid, I being one of them. It’s harder than you think to get a six foot body down on all fours to cross the grid without being tagged by a soccer ball in the process. I was told that my “bear crawl” looked more like a gorilla charging at an enemy….Gee that’s attractive.

Moving on… Then towards the end of the week we were challenged by the Volleyball team to a game of bowling. We all had a fabulous time but let’s just say, you could tell that all of us were recruited to JU for reasons other than bowling.

This past Friday we played our first exhibition game against SCAD. It was good opportunity to play somebody other than ourselves. We tied 0-0 but even though we tied, we showed well as a team. Obviously, there are some things to work on, but the freshmen mesh well with the returners. The team chemistry still needs a little work but we are showing well for a group that has only been together for a little over a week.

Overall, preseason is an intense week and a half filled with moments of joy (when we get water breaks), smiles (when practice is over) and memories that you will never forget for the rest of your life. I wouldn’t do soccer any other way. We bond as team through the struggles and the successes. Join our team as we continue to grow in the successes of our upcoming season.