Futbol Anyone?

A lot of students at the University of Georgia take the summer off and relax. The athletes can not. They know any downtime can hurt their chances for playing time. The Georgia soccer team finished 12-6-2 last year, but failed to reach the NCAA's. That made them pretty mad. One girl, Joni Vickers told me how she is spending her summer and preparing for next season and her goal to reach the NCAA's.


Dave McMahon -- What have you been doing this summer?

Joni Vickers -- I have been doing a lot. Early this summer I played in the W-League, its an amateur league. I played for the Carolina Dynamo with my teammate Lauren Church. After that I played for an amateur team in Georgia with my teammate Catherine Bruce. We played against teams from Texas and Florida. I didn't do too well, but I am glad I competed so I can keep my skills up. Then I came back to Athens and helped out in a few camps and now I am running 3 times a week and weight lift and condition 2-3 times a week. I am also taking some classes in school, too.

DM -- Did you go to any of these camps when you were in school?

JV -- I went to a camp at Clemson and one at East Carolina, but I was much younger then. I mostly was involved with club teams in high school when I wasn't playing for my school.

DM -- One of the things your coach brings up is the importance of keeping the in-state girls, making sure the best from Georgia go to Georgia. You are from Georgia, do you agree with this philosophy?

JV -- Definitely. Some of the past coaches didn't do it as well, but Coach Baker is making sure it is done. There is so much talent in this state and I hope they come here.

DM -- Describe the difference between your first season here where you finished 4-9-5 to last season where you finished 12-6-2?

JV -- When Coach Baker came here everything changed. All the girls' attitudes changed as well. We are so much more organization now. Coach Baker and the rest of the coaching staff constantly ask for our feedback and they listen.

DM -- You have 22 career starts in 2 seasons here, but you are not guarenteed to start next season, right?

JV -- We have so many talented girls coming in next season. There is a lot of pressure on all of us. It is a great motivator for and I know it makes me work harder.

DM -- Tell me about your first career goal last year?

JV -- It was so exciting! We were playing Louisiana-Monroe and we had a free kick. After the kick the ball bounced back out, I snucked through and knocked it into the back of the net. I want more goals now!

DM -- What are your strengths?

JV -- I think it's my overall aggressiveness on both offense and defense.

DM -- What do you still need to work on?

JV -- Shooting is one thing. I also have to work on my foot speed.

DM -- How much did you watch of the World Cup?

JV -- Some. I was busy moving the last few weeks. I saw it when I could. I was so happy to see it on TV, because soccer is rarely on TV. I learned a lot by watching the games.

DM -- Ever thought about head-butting someone?

JV -- No, not really. That wouldn't be too smart.

DM -- So overall you seemed excited about this season?

JV -- I can't wait for the season to start. Last year we just missed making the NCAA's, but now our main goal, so I can't wait!

DM -- Thank you for your time and good luck in the upcoming season.

Joni Vickers is a junior midfielder from Peachtree City. Their first game of the seson is on August 25th vs Jacksonville in Athens.

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