Nashville, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team got fall camp underway on Wednesday morning as the Bisons held their first practice in preparation for the 2012 season. First-year head coach Kevin O’Brien was eager to get on the field.
“It was positive, we have some work to do no doubt over the next couple weeks as we get prepared for our first competition,” O’Brien said. “I feel the effort they put out, the commitment they put into training was awesome. I Felt good about day number one.”
The Bisons opened camp with 25 student-athletes with 11 returners and 14 new faces. Of the returners, senior goalkeeper Erin Zerio will once again handle duties in the box. Senior Andie Thorton, who led the Bisons in scoring just two seasons ago. Alex Wagner, a junior, returns as the leading goal scorer from last season at the midfield. Senior defensemen Kameron Stilwell is expected to anchor the defense.
“Kameron Stilwell is leading the charge… just a leader on and off the field; hopefully she can bring the younger players under her wings and teach them how to be successful within the program.” O’Brien said. “She is a very quick learner with understanding what we’re trying to do as a coaching staff and she is helping us implement it with the team. It is always great when you have captains on the team that almost function as coaches.”
The first day of camp focused on what O’Brien describes as the foundation of the team, defense.
“We focused on defensive understanding of how we are going to play as a team,” O’Brien said. “We'll build from simple to complex. We feel like if we have a committed cohesive unit that buys in to defending first, we're going to be a hard team to break down and beat.
It’s going to be a long camp and the girls are up to the challenges that so far we have put in front of them. As we continue to build a style and system hopefully they stick with it and learn it well so come our first competition we have a product that can be competitive.”
The Bisons will kick things off on Saturday Aug. 4, with a 5 p.m. alumni match pitting the 2012 squad against former players. Following the alumni match, the Bisons will play rival Belmont in an exhibition contest at 6 p.m. match on Aug. 10 at Rose Park. The first regular season contest will be on Aug. 17 at7 p.m. against Jackson State at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.