Aug. 24, 2012
Hello fellow Ramblers!
This blog marks the first of many blogs for our soccer team at the great Loyola University Chicago. Remember to keep checking in to see what the defending Horizon League champs are up to!
Coming in to the first day of preseason, I was extremely excited to be back with the team again. With 13 new faces this fall, we are a brand new and youthful team compared to last year and we have created a hard-working, yet enthusiastic atmosphere in hopes to win back-to-back conference titles.
After we all checked into our Simpson dorms for preseason, we mentally prepared ourselves for the ever-popular 300s for our fitness test. For those of you who don't know what those are, they are 25-yard shuttles in which you run down and back six times in under a minute. Then you get a three minute rest, and run it five more times for a total of six times. Once those were survived, we finally began two-a-days and our preseason.
After a few days of training, it was officially time for our first preseason game at Marquette University, the defending Big-East champs, and former home to our new coach, Stan "The Man" Anderson. We went down 1-0 relatively early, but fought back and I scored the equalizer after a great ball from Andrew Raymonds. After scoring I made sure to make my way to the corner to dance a nice little samba that was tribute to my favorite player Ronaldinho. I thought it was a work of art, but apparently Coach Anderson begged to differ, and I still haven't heard the end of it. We ended up giving up another goal with about five minutes remaining, and lost the game 2-1. Although it was a heart-breaking defeat, we still showed glimpses of great success that we look to build on throughout the rest of preseason.
After much more competitive training on the pitch, it was time for our second and last preseason game vs. Roosevelt, a small school in Chicago that is currently in its first year of having a soccer team. Although they are a new program, we couldn't take them lightly, and we made sure to come out and make a statement on our home turf. We ended the game victorious with a 3-0 victory, with freshman Dane Bergstrom as the highlight man, racking up two goals and an assist. Although a promising result for the future, we still had things to work on that we addressed in upcoming training sessions.
Wednesday our team woke up bright and early to help move the freshmen into their dorms. Although it was extremely early, we made sure to bring the energy in welcoming the future of Loyola Chicago. Pete McKeown and I went all throughout Campion, reorganizing rooms and handing out hundreds of schedule cards. We did whatever we could to help the freshmen feel welcome, and to raise awareness for our games, especially our opener today.
Yesterday we had a great training session that we hope will transfer to today's season opener vs. Central Arkansas. I am extremely pumped, and by the looks of all the signs promoting our games, it appears as if the school is pumped as well! Soccer is a fun game, but what makes it even more fun is the support of hundreds or even thousands of fans, screaming, drumming, or blowing vuvuzelas in support of the Ramblers. We hope to see everyone there, and I challenge everyone to bring at least 5 friends. I'm not the greatest at math, but I know that if everyone brings friends we will completely pack Loyola Soccer Park! I'll see everyone at our game tomorrow as we look to start of our season on a good note against Central Arkansas!
P.S. Go Ramblers!!!