Georgia Soccer Wraps Up Second Day

ATHENS – The University of Georgia soccer team continued three-a-day workouts Thursday at the Georgia Soccer Complex on South Milledge Avenue. Despite ending the third portion of the day prematurely due to heavy rain and wind, the coaching staff expressed an overall feeling of satisfaction with the way training camp has proceeded.

"This was a good second day," said head coach Patrick Baker. "A number of players performed very well in this morning's fitness test, then we did some good things in the morning training session as well. We did a lot with one and two-defender drills, used a lot of new terminology and brought a lot of new ideas to the training. As the session went on you could see the team beginning to understand and see the concepts working, and that carried over very nicely into the evening scrimmage."

"The energy at the fitness test was very good," said assistant coach Robin Confer. "We had a lot of girls pass, which showed how hard they've been working over the summer. It was very nice to see. The rain cut training a little bit short tonight, but the players were getting a little tired. Hopefully they can get a longer break and some extra rest tonight, then come into tomorrow's session recharged and ready to go."

The morning fitness test consisted of drills known as ‘120s'. The team was required to sprint 120 yards within a certain time, then jog back to the beginning within 30 seconds and rest for another 30 seconds before sprinting the full 120 yards again. 14 players, one short of half the entire group, passed the test.

"120s are designed to get the players into a mentality of sprinting forward, then recovering quickly, then getting back and getting set again," said Confer.

The morning training session was concentrated around defensive work in many different settings, including 1 vs. 1 (pressure), 2 vs. 2 (pressure and cover) and 3 vs. 2 drills. The evening scrimmage was played on a short field with seven-person teams rotating to play mini-games against one another. Other Coach And Player Quotes From Day 2 Of Training Camp

Head Coach Patrick Baker

(On the squad's chemistry)

"Today definitely helped further improve the chemistry of the group. We are eating every meal here at the complex as a team, so there is a little more time built in for socializing and being together in a casual setting. That interaction goes a very long way toward building better chemistry, not only player-to-player, but player-to-coach as well."

Senior tri-captain, forward Ali Williams

(On being back in training camp)

"We're working very hard. The fitness tests are making sure that we are prepared, the morning training is good. We get out and play a lot in the afternoon session which is really helping our chemistry because we've got so many new people. It's a good mixture of training and playing together. The more we play together as a team the better we will mesh. That's going to be important because we already have a preseason game coming up in just a few days."

(On her own performance in camp)

"I wish I had done better on the Cooper test yesterday (Wednesday) and I'm a little rusty getting back to being a forward. But I can utilize Robin (Confer) to help me get back to where I want to be.

(On being moved to the forward position)

"I just want to play where I benefit the team the most. If the coaches tell me to play forward, I'll play forward. If it is back, then I'll play back. If going forward is where I will be the most helpful and effective to the team, then that's what I want to do."

(On other players who have impressed her in camp)

"Kelly Whitaker has done a really good job and so has Cortni Joyner. Cortni's fitness has really improved in the last month. She is playing with more confidence and taking people on. Lena Franklin has done very well on the outside as well. I've also been impressed with two of the newcomers especially. Kristin Garman and Megan Tomlinson are both natural athletes. They have good speed, they are fit and they are able to play with us. They don't play like they are that much younger.

Junior midfielder Elizabeth Poirier

(On being back in training)

"It feels good to play again and see everyone. We're all really excited. It is a brand new season with a new coaching staff and new players. So far everyone has gotten along really well. Training seems more organized and structured than in the past also. It really is like a whole new beginning."

(On her own performance in camp)

"I feel really good. I was not here during the summer to train, so I wasn't sure how I would do, but I was very pleased to come in and pass this morning's fitness test. It just feels good to get out and play with everyone again."

(On who has impressed her in camp)

"I've been pretty impressed by two of the goalkeepers. Lauren Church did a really good job yesterday (Wednesday) and Beth Klueter is doing very well after coming off of surgery."

Sophomore midfielder Joni Vickers

(On training camp in general)

"When the new coaches got here everything changed and I think we're off to a good start. The night sessions are more game and competition oriented which is good. It feels like we're building a solid foundation for the season. We seem to be clicking pretty well on the field and for a group that is playing together for the first time, we are playing and adjusting pretty well."

(On her own performance in camp)

"It is good to be back. I've had a little bit of a rough time coming in as I've been sick recently, so my fitness could have been a little better. But I'm working on getting back."

Freshman Kristin Garman

(On her first collegiate training camp)

"It's really hard physically. It is a whole different level and it takes a while to adjust to it. But the girls are really nice and the older girls are really encouraging. I fell like I'm doing alright but I know I can do better. I am just excited to keep playing and get better with everyone while playing at such a high level.

(On following the coaching staff to Georgia)

"I originally committed to Florida State to play for Coach Baker and his staff, but I was really glad when they came to Georgia. I always liked UGA and felt like it would be a good fit. The move couldn't have been more perfect."

Assistant Coach Robin Confer

"Kathleen Howe is playing really well in the middle," added coach Confer. "She keeps it simple, is good in possession, makes good decisions and solves pressure well. We knew she was a good player but the level she is performing at now is a pleasant surprise."

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