Soccer’s Fresh Start Begins with Community

Published: August 08, 2012 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Back on campus and hard at work in preparation for their first season under new Head Coach Becky Hogan, SUU Women’s Soccer is reaching out to the campus and local communities, hoping to meet more of their fans. The players and coaches have spent the better part of their summer volunteering across the city, trying to get to know the community and build team morale through service.

Now, as the season nears, they are all ready to blow off a little steam after a summer of sprints, weights and full-field scrimmages, in addition to team service projects. With an open invitation to the local community, the soccer team will host a watch party Thursday, August 9, to watch the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer team compete against Japan in the gold medal match.

The team hopes, according to Coach Hogan, to spend the afternoon relaxing with their fans as they all “watch some really great soccer and learn a little more about the game [they] all love.” They have rented out the Student Center movie theater and welcome all to join them. Kick-off is at 12:30 p.m. and the game should run through 3:00 that afternoon.

For those not up to speed on recent women’s soccer happenings, the U.S. team is out to avenge one of the most gut-wrenching losses in the program’s history, following last year’s World Cup final where the U.S. lost to Japan in penalty kicks.

Speaking of rivalries, SUU’s team will face several in-state opponents during its 2012 season, including the University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Big Sky opponent Weber State.

Of the team’s prospects in their new conference, Hogan says, “The Big Sky is a conference where any team can win any day—this can be exciting and heartbreaking, frustrating and exhilarating all at once. I believe that if we continue to prepare according to plan, we will weather all of these ups and downs and come out victorious.”

In preparation for both the exhilaration and frustration that lies ahead, the team will host its first home preseason match against UC-Riverside on Sunday, August 19, at 4 p.m. Hogan hopes the later afternoon kick-off will help accommodate those fans with standing Sunday commitments.

When first asked of her new team, Hogan simply says, “We work hard every day.”

Along with several standout returning players, the 2012 roster includes 11 new faces in addition to Hogan and assistant coach Adam Farsi. The new coaching staff will bring a new style of play to utilize the talent on their roster in new and innovative ways in order to help SUU be a contender in its first season of competition in the Big Sky.

Hogan adds, “It has almost become cliché to say that a team ‘plays with heart,’ but we truly do. We want to make something special happen, and you can tell by their red, sweaty faces and dirt smeared training jerseys day after day that these girls want to win.”

She continues, “There is a buzz in the air that you can almost wrap your arms around. We hope our fans and community will come out in support of these hard working young ladies.”

A considerably young coach, herself, Hogan promises the season will not disappoint, going so far as to make predictions about the fans as well as she aims to open the door for new soccer enthusiasts throughout southern Utah.

“Even if you don’t know one thing about the game, come watch. Soccer fans are great people and they will explain the rules to you and point out good things.”

Hogan is obviously eager to draw the community in to the action. “Regardless of your soccer knowledge, there is no denying the hard work, determination and teamwork that is on display on our soccer field. That is something to celebrate.”

The team is anxious to make its first appearance in the Big Sky Conference. With a new conference, players, coach and attitude, it is sure to be a special and exciting time for SUU soccer.

“Everyone on this team has something to prove, maybe they have a chip on their shoulder from being an under appreciated recruit, or they are trying to earn minutes as a bench player,” stated Hogan. “Even I share in that mentality with this being my first head coaching job and with the amount of hard work I have put in to get here. I can promise our fans that we have put a lot preparation into developing a good soccer product and I invite them to come see us play.”

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