NEWS, NOTES &
The Bradsher Beat
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
By Bethany Bradsher
Temporary exile doesn't deter
(ECU SID Image)
All rights reserved.
spring, when the East Carolina softball players had to watch their new
stadium go up as they played in their old one, the seniors knew they weren’t
likely to set foot on the new field. This fall, their friends on the soccer
team find themselves in a similar situation.
play their first home game against Francis Marion on Sunday, the Pirates
won’t even be within walking distance of their new soccer digs. They will be
competing at the ECU recreation complex near North Campus Crossing for the
indefinite future, but they still hope they might get in a few games in the
new stadium before their schedule closes out in late October.
construction plans called for the season to commence on the new field, even
though the old field couldn’t even be torn out until the track and field
squad finished practicing there in April. But the contractors have run into
a hassle getting the proper occupancy permits, said head soccer coach Rob
Donnenwirth, and at this point the sod hasn’t even been put down yet.
with the mindset that we’re going to play at North Recreation this season,”
Donnenwirth said. “We’re going to dress it up nice.”
bright side, the Pirates have a ready-made fan base in the massive North
Campus Crossing complex, and because the field has lights they have switched
three of their home meetings from daytime to evenings. With a more
experienced squad than last year, Donnenwirth and his upperclassmen are
hopeful that they will provide fans ample reason to drive out to their
this is a good group of competitors,” he said. “They really work hard. One
thing that’s nice is we have a lot of people coming back.”
The team has
plenty of success to build on, with a 9-7-3 record last season and a trip to
the Conference USA final game in 2008. They only lost two players from the
2009 squad, and this year’s seniors have noticed a new confidence this year
from the players who were new to the college experience a year ago.
intensity is really, really high this year,” said senior Amanda Broz. “I
think everyone is excited for the season, more than others. Our spring was
experience from last year is huge,” said junior midfielder Jessica Woodward.
“All of our midfielders are returning players, and all of our forwards
exhibition game against Virginia Commonwealth on Friday, the Pirates played
to a 1-1 tie but were actually leading until Donnenwirth took out his
starters. He was pleased with some of what he saw offensively in that
matchup, he said, but the team still needs to find a rhythm and teamwork
that makes the most of every ball possession.
we’d be able to possess the ball a little better than we did and make better
decisions,” Donnenwirth said. “We were too quick to get the ball forward
rather than build our attack, but we created some good chances.”
“I think a
big part in the midfield is trying to figure out how to connect with each
other and then transitioning from the midfield to the forwards,” said senior
midfielder Bailey Wilcox.
Woodward, both midfielders, said that everybody in the midfield has played
in Division I before, and because of their experience they have the
potential to build a strong foundation for every shot a forward takes. They
worked hard in the preseason, but the adjustments that still remain for the
Pirates can only come from real game conditions on the field, even if it is
a borrowed field.
playing together is the biggest thing,” Wilcox said. “All preseason we’ve
really been working on individual things, but now it’s just actually playing
soccer, getting to know each other and the way we play again.”
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08/18/2010 02:34 AM