By: Kimberly Fisher
FRESNO, Calif. - Fall camp is officially underway for Fresno State soccer as they prepare for its upcoming season. The 'Dogs welcome plenty of new energy and talent with 12 true freshman and new assistant coach Sean Steele. During this unique time, head coach Brian Zwaschka will rely heavily on his returning class to step into leadership positions in order to get the 'Dogs primed for the season.
"We're obviously very excited to get going," Zwaschka says. "We prepare all year to get back out on the field and it's always great to get a new group of people assembled. We know we have a huge new group this year, so we can't wait to get them incorporated and integrated. We feel very confident that the new group is going to be able to contribute. Of course we hope that happens right away, but we also know that there's a lot to learn about each other and figure out exactly what strategy is going to be best for this specific group."
Based off initial impression, senior Jaycee Bingham remains confident in her team's ability to assemble the even split of returners and newcomers that make up the 24-person roster.
"I'm really looking forward to the team as a whole," Bingham says. "I feel like we've jelled really well, when the freshman came in we had our captain's practice and we all got to know each other. I'm excited to see how we're going to do, I feel really good about the group that we have."
Along with Bingham, sophomore Amanda Nunes feels she has not only prepared herself for exhibition, but that her team's success will continue from where it left off last season.
"I think it's always important to prepare and come in fit and keep your touch on the ball," says Nunes. "Last year went really well so I'm just hoping we can carry on the momentum, integrate the new freshman and have another great year"
Not only do the 'Dogs have half of the roster full of new faces, but they're also welcoming newly hired assistant coach Sean Steele. Along with returning assistant Lauren McAdam, Steele is an addition that Zwaschka feels will benefit the 'Dogs as they prepare for the approaching season.
"I'm really excited to join the Fresno State soccer staff," Steele says. "They've done some really innovative work with their teams and I look forward to being part of that process."
The squad is looking forward to getting their 20-game schedule underway as they are set to compete on their home turf for half of the exhibitions. Preseason competition will remain close to home as the 'Dogs travel and host competition within the region. The Bulldogs will begin their third season as a part of the Mountain West conference on Sept. 26 as they take on New Mexico at home.
"Our conference has gotten better in the two seasons since we've joined the Mountain West," Zwaschka says. "You have to look out for the top finishers every year, but I feel like there's an incentive within the conference for the coaches to really push, and everyone is working really hard in their recruiting and their off season preparation to be formidable, so we don't take anyone lightly and of course we're going to try and finish as high as we can."
Bulldog soccer is faced with multiple challenges this year, undoubtedly making it a memorable time in history at Fresno State. With only a few short weeks until school is back in session, the 'Dogs look forward to dedicating their time and energy to preparing for a remarkable season.
You can catch the 'Dogs in action for their season opener on Fri. Aug, 22 at 7pm at Bulldog Stadium as they take on Eastern Washington.
"Be Bold!" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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