Aug. 22, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - The fall preseason, for any student-athlete, is a hectic time. There's a lot going on: meetings, team meals, practices, team building, rest when you can find it and rehydration, an activity all on its own. Here's the schedule and a typical day for the women's soccer team during fall camp:
6:30 a.m. - Breakfast
7 a.m. - Training
11 a.m. - Lunch
1 p.m. - Training
5 p.m. - Dinner
6 p.m. Team meeting
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the team throws in an hour of weight training between practice and lunch so the schedule gets a little heavier, no pun intended.
The stress definitely takes a toll as well, but it's all part of becoming a champion and handling time management. Here's a tweet from goalkeeper Amy Carr when Head Coach John Ross gave the team the morning practice off... Still no chance of relaxation:
When reading that tweet, this writer couldn't help but laugh having been there before; jumping out of bed and rushing to get ready, only to be halted by silent hallways in the dorms or a roommate throwing something at me.
However, through all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears, it is the experience of a lifetime during camp and one that is not sure to leave the players memory banks for years to come through friendships, team bonding and service to the community.
The entire Huskie women's soccer team appeared at the Soccer Fields behind the DeKalb Park District Sport and Recreation Center Saturday August 11 for a festival at the field to watch games, talk to the players and sign autographs for the youth participating.
"It was a lot of fun to come to the field and hang out with the kids. There had to be over 100 at the park that day," echoed junior Courtney Ksiazek and senior Lauren Eberts when recalling the event after practice in preparation for Drake.
Regional Commissioner of the AYSO soccer program said in an email to Associate Vice President/Athletic Director Jeff Compher "This was a thrill for my program and a great testimony of true Huskie spirit. We are lucky to have players and coaches like Mr. Ross so close to our community. Please know that your athletic program is doing more than competing, they are enriching the lives of future players at NIU."
The Huskies are currently in a bye week and will not return to action until their home-opener Aug. 31 against Illinois State and also take on Loyola Sept. 2. It's NIU's final week of summer break practices as classes begin Monday morning in DeKalb.
The Huskies took Monday off and went to Chicago, going to the beach and seeing the sites that only Chicago has to offer. On Tuesday, it was back to work for NIU to squeeze all that was left in them before school resumes and prepare for its two games next weekend.
Northern Illinois has not defeated the Redbirds since 1998, the same season the Huskies won its last Mid-American Conference Championship. Similarly, NIU had not defeated Loyola since 1996, however, the Huskies snapped the streak last season with a 2-0 win on Senior Day.