Third-year head coach Dave Siracusa has 31 student-athletes on the current roster. Fifteen letterwinners and 10 starters return from a young squad that went on a 6-2-1 run to close out the 2005 season just one victory shy of an NCAA Tournament berth. Nine newcomers from California high schools, join the team.
The Spartans continue with double days from Thursday, August 10, through Saturday, August 12, with practices going from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:45-3:45 p.m. The morning sessions are mostly spent on conditioning and technical work, with some tactical work. In the afternoon sessions, “we condition soccer games to meet our needs,” explains Siracusa.
The team will take the day off on Sunday, August 13, returning to the double-day schedule the following morning and going through Thursday, August 17. Pactices are held at Spartan Field on the San Jose State University campus, at the corner of 10th and Alma streets, across the street from San Jose Municipal Stadium. All sessions are open to the public.
“Training has been positive so far,” says Siracusa. “The captains (seniors Nicole Martinez, Cristin Murphy and Cynthia Pinkney) have done a great job of organizing the team in a positive manner. The players are all upbeat and fit. They all passed their physical tests, and are more fit than I’ve seen them ever.
“For being just the first two days of training, the soccer has been exemplary. The returning girls have been really good, and (the coaching staff) is pleased with the freshmen class as well. Do mistakes get made? Sure. Are they performing at a high level? Maybe not consistently right now, but we’ve seen some high-end play, with good finishing and good defense. We are pleased with the play.”
San Jose State will play one exhibition contest, on Friday, August 18, against Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Spartans open the 2006 season on the road at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., on Friday, August 25. Kick-off is set for 1:00 p.m.
Following three more matches on the road, San Jose State plays its home opener at Spartan Field on Friday, September 8, at 5:00 p.m. against non-conference foe Idaho State University.
The Spartans were picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference in a preseason poll conducted by the league’s eight head coaches.