The UC San Diego Women’s Soccer team opened training for its 2006 season Monday as the defending champions of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The squad, which posted an 18-4 record last year, will have its share of big names on the roster, including CCAA Player of the Year Megan Dickey and three-time All-CCAA standout Kelly Cochran. But the success of this fall’s club may depend more on the performance of experienced players like junior Chelsey Campbell, who are expected to assume more significant roles. Campbell, a 5-6 midfielder out of nearby Rancho Bernardo High School, started four games a year ago, scoring one goal. Head Coach Brian McManus sees those numbers increasing dramatically. “Chelsey should be a starter in the midfield her last two seasons,” said McManus. “She’s got one of the hardest shots on the team and is capable of scoring a lot of goals.” Three days into pre-season camp,
Q—What’s the toughest part of pre-season practice?
The practices are also tough on the legs. There’s a lot of running and you’re playing as hard as you can for four hours a day with the two practices. It’s extremely competitive because no one is promised a spot.
Q-What advice would you have for newcomers to the program?
I was intimidated as a freshman—by the older players, the coaches, the situation. The returning players were obviously familiar with each other, the system and the drills. It was hard to gain respect.
It’s a short tryout period and a lot can be determined early. Joining any new team is always intimidating but there are a lot of different factors when you’re new to a college team.
Q—Last year’s team was successful by most accounts. What are the keys to matching that success or improving on it in 2006?
Q—What do you expect will be the strengths of this year’s team?
CAMPBELL—Last year I would have said the defense but this year, I think we’ll be pretty strong down the sidelines—our forwards and outside mids. Kelly (Cochran) and Kathy (Sepulveda) have really good speed and should be able to beat teams up the field. We have a lot of good finishers like Megan (Dickey) and Alise (Malley) so I feel confident we’ll be able to score goals.
Q—From a soccer standpoint, what did you do during the summer?
It seems like you’re never really where you want to be in terms of fitness because while you may be “in shape,” being in “game shape” is an entirely different thing. You only get into game shape by playing games. I try to stay in at least “running shape” over the summer.
Q—Is there a part of your game that you think will be better this year?
Q—Can you give us a quick rundown of the first few days of practice?
There’s a lot of sorting out as the coaches try to make all the pieces fit into the best team possible. Of course, we do a lot of running and conditioning as well.
Q—You chose to stay close to home for college. Why did you do that and have you been happy with the decision?
It’s a great place, plus it’s far enough away from home to have my space but when I need the comfort of home or a home-cooked meal, its just a short drive away.
Q—What are some of the things you enjoy doing away from the soccer field?
I also like to go to the beach. I lived with four of the girls on the team last year and we did just about everything together.
Q—You’re a sociology and political science major. What kind of career goals do you have?
Originally, I was interested in criminology but I’m not sure I want to get into a career where you go in to the same thing everyday.
Q—Who on the team has a particular skill you would like to have?
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