UTEP soccer begins preparation for upcoming season
Miners will seek to improve on 10-10 record from last year
After reaching the conference final in 2011, the UTEP women's soccer team had a disappointing 2012 season, as the team failed to make the eight-team conference tournament that was held at the University Field in El Paso.
The women's soccer team finished with 10 wins and 10 loses, but had a 3-8 record in conference. The team had setbacks during the season including injuries and they dropped the last four games of the season, but head coach Kevin Cross said that experience is now a motivation for the team to work harder to have much better results.
"We learned a lot from last year and we brought a lot of players with speed into our attack which is something the team was missing, and also, we got players back who were injured last year, hopefully all that put together helps us get near the top of the pack where we belong," Cross said . "You learn a whole lot from experiences like that, I think we've grown tremendously from that, it brings the best out of you, you know what you need to do and it motivates you all year long."
The Miners lost only two seniors and will count with 10 newcomers for the upcoming season including four players from El Paso, Atzimba Casas, Brianna Barreiro, Brianna Thomas and Brianna Williamson.
"El Paso has always been crucial for our success," Cross said. "This year we are adding four more players from the city and it's great to have them represent the city as part of our team."
The Miners began their training camp on Aug. 7 and coach Cross is aiming for The freshmen to adapt to the team as fast as possible, he will also have to rely on the upperclassmen to get the incoming players ready.
"It's been really exciting to get to know my teammates," said freshman midfielder Barreiro. "It's going to be such an amazing experience to play at this level, we barely began our training and we are really pushing each other to have a good season."
The soccer squad will be composed of 14 returning players, including five seniors who want to have a good season in their final year.
"We have five seniors who are excellent players," Cross said. "We got some youth on this team, more numbers and they're very hungry and we feel we got a lot to prove this year."
One of the seniors is Canadian native Hannah Asuchack, whose main goal is to make the Conference USA tournament.
"We got a lot of new players, so we are getting really excited with this training camp and we are looking pretty good this year," Asuchak said. "I think we got a lot of knowledge on this team, we only lost two seniors and that will definitely benefit us in helping the freshmen. I think we are going to be ready, we are all strong and we are all in shape."
The Miners are aiming to be ready for the season opener against Utah Valley on Aug. 23 at University Field, and two days later UTEP will host Nebraska-Omaha.
"We are looking forward to it," Cross said. "We barely beat them (Utah Valley) on the road last season. It's a tough opponent. They won their league, so it's going to be a big game and we are excited. It will be a great atmosphere on the 23rd."
UTEP will face five opponents who are new to Conference USA, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, Louisiana Tech, UT San Antonio and North Texas. The Conference USA tournament will take place Oct. 6-10, in Houston, Texas.
Edwin Delgado may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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