Lady Crusaders Play "Soccer Tennis" at Practice - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Lady Crusaders Play "Soccer Tennis" at Practice

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William Carey's men's and women's soccer teams kick off their second weeks of practices.

But the Lady Crusaders kick the ball over the net at this morning's practice.

"Soccer tennis is a great way just to work on their technical skills, so it's something they love to do," says William Carey head women's soccer coach Danny Owens.

But Owens plans on sticking to soccer going forward.

"I just thought it was important to come out this morning, and just kind of have a light session - allow some of them to get their legs, and then we'll get after it hard this evening," says Owens.

The men hold a more conventional practice, but that does not make the head coach any less excited for his 11th season with the Crusaders.

"I can't wait to get to preseason training," says William Carey head men's soccer coach Nigel Boulton. "It's a long winter and spring to get back to the season."

The men's team enters the 2013 campaign ranked seventh of 12 teams in the 2013 SSAC Coaches' Preseason Poll.

But Boulton says the powerful conference overshadows his team's talent.

"Those seven teams were all nationally ranked at some point," says Boulton. "Three out of four teams from our conference made the national final four - we're kind of like the SEC of the NAIA."

The Lady Crusaders boast a number two ranking in the same poll, but Owens refuses to buy into any preseason accolades.

"That's really just based off of William Carey's history," says Owens. "We've been good over the past few years."

With 11 new players on the roster, Owens knows nothing is guaranteed.

"It's a new team, it's a new season - these girls have got to go and earn it and hopefully keep this program in the top, but it starts now with preparing," says Owens.

As for Boulton's squad, the team does not temper expectations based on a number.

"I think it's a realistic goal we've set to try to get to the national championship," says Boulton.

Both the men's and women's teams open their seasons on Aug. 23.

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