BATON ROUGE, La — With a 7 p.m. training session at the LSU Soccer Complex on Saturday night, the LSU soccer team wrapped up its first week of preseason training camp as it continued its preparation for a 2011 season opener against the Memphis Tigers in less than two weeks.
The Tigers will travel to Memphis on Friday, Aug. 19, to begin their 2011 campaign against the four-time defending Conference USA Tournament champions at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
Through six training sessions of preseason camp, the squad has placed special attention to introducing the program’s basic philosophies of play, as well as instituting its systems of play, defensive organization and building general soccer endurance. The Tigers have also been busy off the field during the first week with indoctrination into LSU’s strength and conditioning and nutrition programs, as well as building leadership and chemistry while organizing the team’s community service efforts for 2011.
Head coach Brian Lee was especially pleased with the result of his team’s fitness test Wednesday prior to its first training session as 11 Tigers broke the six-minute barrier in the mile time trial. That is a new team record and more athletes to break six minutes than in the previous six years combined of the Lee era.
The Tigers did suffer their first setback of training camp when freshman midfielder Victoria Sample from Houston, Texas, sustained a season-ending knee injury on Wednesday.
“We’ve just wrapped up a tremendous first week of camp,” Lee said. “We’re very pleased with the fitness level of this team. That’s allowed us to incorporate even more in our preseason training than we have here in the past. The training intensity and competitiveness shown by our athletes has been outstanding. We’ve developed some tremendous depth in goal, in the midfield and on the front line.
“I’m very disappointed for Tori Sample, who started out very well for us and figured to give us very good depth in the midfield. She reported to camp in great shape as one of the 11 to break a six-minute mile.”
After taking Sunday off, the Tigers will return to the training ground for six more practices this week with the team’s focus being placed on more functional training and role building while continuing to develop a stronger game-like endurance as they continue to prepare for their season opener in just 12 days.