Each day this week University of Dayton head coach Mike Tucker has given fans a position breakdown of the UD goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders leading up to the Flyers’ regular season opener against Middle Tennessee State tonight at 8 p.m.
On this final day of the 2011 season preview Tucker talks about his forwards, the rookies and UD’s winning tradition.
“Josie Grant, one of our senior co-captains, has obviously worked hard over the course of the summer because she is just a new person and much-improved. She is a very dangerous attacking player right now. She and Colleen Williams work so well together. It wouldn’t shock me if Colleen put up even better numbers than last year. She is that good. She is dangerous at all times. She requires a lot of extra attention from teams and whoever is playing around her will be the beneficiary. Amanda Sivic could be utilized as an attacking player up top. Up top also from the freshmen, is Kelsey Smigel, who I call Sniper. If the ball is in front of the net and she is near it, the ball is going to end up in the back of the net. Maggie Murnane is much-improved. Andrea Todak looks better. Both will see more time this year."
“We’re really deep, but we’re also really young. I think how quickly these freshmen integrate and start feeling comfortable will be a factor. We’re already starting to see that in training. They are figuring out the demands of the college game and what it takes. They are adjusting well so very capable of giving us quality minutes. This freshmen class will play an expanded roll and they are ready at this point in time. We have big shoes to fill, but our numbers are good and I think they have the ability to do that.”
TRADITION OF WINNING
“Fortunately, going back many years, we had dedicated talented groups who got it done and set the tone for the way we want to go about doing things. When you do things the right way you can expect to get good results. For us, it’s been a matter of making sure we have the right people in our program – dedicated and competitive players who want to excel at everything they do. I believe there is a UD kind of player and this group is very much that. We don’t intend to go backward. We have goals that are much higher that we have not reached yet. We are going to work harder to get there. We’re really proud of the heritage of our program. It’s always about getting better."
UD returns home to host Cal-Poly Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. at Baujan Field. Admission is free to all UD regular season soccer games at Baujan Field.