Aug. 6, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama soccer team officially kicked off the 2014 campaign with the first practice of the season on Wednesday morning at the Alabama Soccer Complex.
The Crimson Tide is scheduled for two practices on the day. The team opened the fall camp with a fitness test, followed by an intense 90-minute training session, focusing primarily on the defense and final third of the field.
Alabama head coach Todd Bramble, who is entering his seventh season at the helm of the program, was pleased from what he saw during Wednesday morning's session.
"The group definitely made a good impression on the staff," Bramble said. "We started off with a traditional fitness test in the morning and the results of that were very good. We are certainly pleased with the work the group did over the summer. That puts us in a position to spend most of the preseason on the ball, building our team tactics. We came out and had a good crisp session right off the bat, which is never easy, but their concentration, effort and attitude toward that was very good."
Spirits and expectations are high for the Tide as it enters the program's 24th season as a varsity sport in 2014. Alabama returns nine starters and 12 letterwinners off last season's squad, which includes four of its top five offensive leaders in total points from a year ago.
In addition, UA welcomes a talented class of 10 newcomers to this year's squad, which have blended in nicely throughout the summer and in the early parts of fall camp, according to Bramble.
"I have a lot of faith and belief in our upperclassmen," Bramble said. "It's a really good group of leaders. We have invested a lot in their leadership development as part of our program here, so it's a strong group of leaders and they will do a good job of bringing the younger players into the fold. When you talk about the younger players, there is a lot of talent in that group. If we can utilize their strength and talents, and get the type of leadership I am expecting from the upperclassmen, then there is no reason why we can't come together quickly as a team."
Following a home exhibition game on Aug. 16 vs. Mississippi State, the Crimson Tide will play its first regular-season contest against Kennesaw State on Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. CT at the Alabama Soccer Complex.Admission to all Alabama's home games are free to the general public.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaSoccer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.