The Auburn women’s soccer team is preparing for an exciting year, as it is welcoming eight new recruits. Katy Frierson, a junior in political science, said the team gets its recruits two years in advance.
“We’ve already got all our recruits,” she added.
Because they were recruited two years ago, she said the team has had the chance to watch them grow and develop their skills throughout high school.
Monica Afanador, team member and senior in public relations, said the team lost some awesome seniors, but the freshman will make great contributions to the team.
“We lost six seniors, so we lost a lot of positions on the field,” Frierson said.
“We feel like this year’s recruiting class is going to fill the holes from last year’s seniors graduating,” said Coach Karen Hoppa.
Frierson said the team needs to quickly incorporate the freshmen.
“I think team chemistry, year in and year out, is one of our trademarks here at Auburn,” she added. “We’ll be a very savvy team.”
Hoppa said she and the other coaches have seen a great commitment from the team even outside of practice. The team members have been holding their own practices throughout the summer, as formal practices during the summer are not allowed.
This is Afanador's fifth season playing for the women’s soccer team. She said her personal goal for the year is to play a greater leadership role, adding that it is the responsibility of the older women to set the bar for their incoming teammates.
“One of our biggest strengths off the field is the friendship we have,” she said. “We trust each other and are dependent on one another to succeed.”
While the women’s team finished spring undefeated against collegiate squads, Hoppa said every season you want to build on the season before.
She said last season the team did a good job defensively, despite challenges they faced, such as injured players.
“We want to be a better attacking, possession team,” Hoppa said, regarding goals for the upcoming season.
“Our goal is to make it to the sweet 16,” Afanador said. However, Frierson said her goal for the team is to make it to the SEC championships.
The team will begin its season on Aug. 20 with a home game against Tennessee Tech starting at 7 p.m.