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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers optimistic for new season

Strong practices, returning talent lend confidence

Interpreted word for word, the women's soccer team's goal for the 2001 season may not seem profound. But coach Joe Kelley maintains that if his team plays its hardest, the Hoosiers can expect an improvement on last year's 8-9-1 record.\n"It may sound so trite, but we just want to play really well. Every game we want to compete," Kelley said. "We want to go out and play with pride and outwork the other team. Beyond that obviously we're judged by wins and losses. It would be great if things fell our way, but we've got to make our breaks."\nExperience will not be a problem for the the team, which returns 10 starters and 12 of its top 13 scorers from last season. Combined with talented newcomers such as Butler transfer Kara Bryan, last year's Midwest Collegiate Conference player of the year, and freshmen Carrie Fry and Kim Grodek, the team has the pieces in place for the season.\nKelley said along with a talented returning roster, the team has also enjoyed a strong two weeks of practice.\n"Our intensity has been outstanding. I think that (the coaching staff has) pushed them really hard both mentally and physically," Kelley said. "They've been frustrated, which is good. We meant to do that. They've fought it and I love their intensity in practice and even when they're tired and frustrated, they've worked really hard."\nKelley said no player has distinguished themselves during the past two weeks of practice, but singled out senior midfielder Kelly Kram as showing strong leadership during practice.\n"Everybody has (played well). Recently, I think Kelly Kram has stepped up," Kelley said. "She's so talented. I don't think, sometimes, she realizes how talented she is. She's a leader. More so than not, in the past three days of practice, she's really taking over. Truthfully, they've all done great."\nKram has embraced the senior leadership role, but also says the Hoosier roster is full of leaders.\n"I think everyone (is a leader), when you step on the field, it doesn't matter who the leader is," Kram said.\nReturning so many players has resulted in positive team chemistry for the Hoosiers.\n"I love the girls; they're great. Everyone is getting along so good," Kram said. "We're starting to come together as a team and play really well."\nSophomore goalkeeper Shaunna Daugherty agrees that the entire team has proved themselves in practice and is ready to get the season under way this Sunday against Cincinnati at Butler University's Kuntz Field.\n"Our team has really come along well together," Daugherty said. "In particular, (sophomore midfielder Emily) Hotz and Kram are just dominating in the midfield. Our defense is coming together so well."\nAll the pieces appear to be in place, and while the team is simplifying its goals for the upcoming season, there is at least one accomplishment the Hoosiers say they have their eye on.\n"Hopefully, in the longer run, an NCAA bid would be amazing," Kram said.

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