EUGENE, Ore.- The University of Oregon soccer team reported for their first day of practice in preparation for the 2012 season on Friday (Aug. 3).
With 16 days until the start of the season, the Ducks were excited to begin the first of two practices at 8 a.m. in their new facility.
UO began that early morning practice with their annual fitness test to see exactly where the team was at physically.
"We had the benefit of the team being here this summer and having the opportunity to work with our strength and conditioning coaches Jimmy Radcliffe and Mark Dillon," said head coach Tara Erickson. "Having that chance to work with them helped and it showed as they were going through the different parts of the test this morning."
After breaking for lunch, the Ducks returned to the pitch at 3 p.m. for their second practice.
The first 20 minutes of the practice was dedicated to working on the technical side of passing and receiving.
"This second practice gave us (the coaches) a chance to evaluate and see where we are at," remarked Erickson, who is heading into her eighth season at Oregon. "I loved the morning session and the challenge was being able to come back and do it again."
After working on passing and receiving, the Ducks worked on small-sided possession and incorporated a small-sided scrimmage before breaking off into a round robin type tournament.
"I was impressed with the energy and they looked sharp," added Erickson.
Erickson worked on one end of the field while fourth-year assistant coach Mac Wilson worked the other end of the field.
Assistant coach Paul Karver, in his first season with UO, worked out the goalkeepers.
With one of the largest squads to come through Oregon at 29 strong, both practices were exciting and great focus was showed by not only the veterans, but also the newcomers.
The Ducks get back to work tomorrow with two sessions at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Two-a-day practices continue until Aug. 12 when UO holds an intrasquad scrimmage that will be open to the public at 1 p.m. No admission will be charged for the scrimmage and parking is also free of charge.
opens the season on Aug. 19 against UAB at 1 p.m. The full schedule is online at www.GoDucks.com.
For information on tickets, click here.
For a photo gallery of images from the first day of practice, click here.