This past summer my Scorpions team reunited one last time at U19. We came back from school not only looking for an opportunity to prepare ourselves for our next college seasons, but also hoping to win a National Championship. First, we played in the Massachusetts’s State Cup, defeating the Stars of Massachusetts. As state champions, we moved onto regionals and defeated Bethesda Soccer Club in the Regional final game. We ended up losing in the National Championship game in penalty kicks, two days before the start of my preseason. Needless to say, I felt really fit and ready to jump back into college soccer (aside from the sore muscles and bruises thanks to Nationals).
Approaching preseason as a sophomore, I had a completely different mindset from last year. The “what-if’s” and other questions that filled my head coming in as an inexperienced freshman were no longer there. My familiarity with the demands of a Big East program and, most simply, with being away from home, provide me with a huge advantage over the freshmen. I’ve had a full year to accustom myself to the pressures and demands that are placed on a Division 1 student-athlete. From already having close friends on the team to knowing the pet peeves and expectations of the coaching staff, being a returning player makes preseason much easier to endure.
This year preseason came way too early. We reported on August 1st, but couldn’t move into Providence until the 7th of August, so we spent our first week of preseason at Roger William’s University. The food was great and the air-conditioned suites we lived in were like staying in a hotel (they even came complete with towels, sheets and a complementary bar of soap). With the ocean right outside my window, I went through the first week with so much optimism and energy. Now I’m back to sweating in the hot dorms, terrible nights of sleep and wearing flip-flops in the shower. I am, however, extremely glad to be back on campus. My legs have been begging for a good ice bath, and ours at PC is second to none.
Our first test comes with our scrimmage tomorrow against Hartford. Preseason scrimmages aren’t necessarily about the result. At the end of the day, we hope to have used this opportunity to grow as a team and come closer to where we need to be for the start of our season. In case any of you reading this want to catch our season opener, it’s at 7 o’clock on Friday, August 17th at Boston College. Our home opener follows on Sunday, August 19th at 1 o’clock against Army. You can find the remainder of our schedule on Friars.com.