Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Soccer Begins 2012 Preseason Training Camp

Katie Taylor (left) and Avery Ford (right) battle for the ball during a scrimmage.

Katie Taylor (left) and Avery Ford (right) battle for the ball during a scrimmage.

Aug. 1, 2012

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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah soccer team officially began preparations for the 2012 season Wednesday as preseason training camp opened at Ute Field. Utah will kick off its season-opener in less than three weeks against Utah State on Aug. 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Utah's home opener is slated for Aug. 23 as the Utes host Southern Utah at 7:30 p.m. at Ute Field.

Following an afternoon training session, UtahUtes.com caught up with head coach Rich Manning and a few of the players to discuss Day One of the 2012 season.

Head Coach Rich Manning
On the beginning of training camp:
"As always we are really excited and looking forward to the season with a new group and a new beginning. There are a lot of things that will happen over the next couple of weeks before our first game, which is a really fun part of coaching. We have a lot of new faces and a lot of healthy bodies, so there is more depth than we have had recently and we are excited to move forward. We will get through fitness testing and a few days of training before our scrimmage on Aug. 11, which will be great to get a feel for where we are and how far we have come during the first part of camp."

On the benefits of so many players working out together through the summer:
"It certainly seems like we are a little bit further ahead at the start of camp this year with so many players volunteering to be here and work out together during the summer. It feels like we are already a little further along."

On the excitement of having a large number of both returning veterans and talented newcomers:
"I have a very good feeling about this group. From talking to the players who have been here together for voluntary workouts and captains' practices, there is a very positive vibe. Any time you bring talented new players in, it charges up the whole group. It brings energy and the players are excited about having more really good teammates around them. But they also realize that they have to compete even harder, and that's exciting."

What he looks forward to most about training camp:
"Having a new challenge. And it also means that games are coming up shortly...we're excited to play and get after it."

Junior Harley Spier
On the first day of training camp
On the first day of training camp: "It went really well. It was nice to finally get out here as a group, get some touches on the ball, and have fun. We had captains' practices all summer with almost the whole team, so were already meshing pretty well heading into camp."

On what she looks forward to most about training camp:
"It's just a great opportunity to get better and work towards being successful in the Pac-12."

On what she looks forward to least:
"Nothing! I am just excited to get started and I'm looking forward to competing."

Sophomore Avery Ford
On her perception of the team at the beginning of training camp:
"We are really excited, we're already flowing and we looked good today. The team unity is great, there is nothing negative and it's all just flowing really well right now. Working out together all summer helped a ton. Once you step on the field, you're already that much closer through practicing and bonding together. I think we are all pretty dang fit coming into camp, and that's exciting. One of the cool things too is that no one has a starting spot locked up. If you play the best, you play in the games. If you're lagging behind, someone who is playing better will take that spot over you."

On what she looks forward to most about training camp:
"Finally getting out here and playing with the whole team."

On what she looks forward to least:

Freshman Katie Rigby
On her first official day as a collegiate player:
"I wasn't really sure what to expect other than I knew it was going to be hard. Every girl here wants to be a starter so everyone is working as hard as they can. We have been together for a lot of the summer, working out doing fitness on our own, which helps bring unity to team. Now that we are on the field together practicing and playing, it makes it that much better."

On what she was looking forward to most about her first collegiate training camp:
"Coming to the field and touching the ball for the first time on the field that you will be on for the next four years...it's unbelievable. This is our home field now and we want to defend it."

Was she worried about anything?
"Getting used to the altitude, being from New Jersey. The first time I ever came out here I had a hard time catching my breath, so being out here all summer and getting used to it was really good."



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