20 Aug No. 2 SLCC Women’s Soccer prepared for Saturday season opener
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (August 20, 2021) – The No. 2 Salt Lake Community College women’s soccer program is ready for its season-opener Saturday, fresh off a strong performance in the fall preseason practices.
SLCC will open with a mega-matchup against No. 3 Eastern Florida State College at Zions Bank Stadium Saturday, setting up a duel of NJCAA national contenders to open the 2021 season. The Bruins are well-accustomed to matches of such significance, particularly after a Spring 2021 season that saw them finish as the NJCAA runner-up.
In advance of Saturday’s opener, Bruins coach Cassie Ulrich said her team is ready for the season after a productive fall camp.
“We talk a lot about committing to the process day-in and day-out,” she said. “Preseason is a short amount of time to get every one on the same page tactically, so it’s really important for us to develop our mentality going into the season and also to build relationships across the team.”
SLCC is fortunate in that the chemistry of its Spring 2021 team carried throughout the summer into fall practices, with most players actively training and working together during the short offseason. The Bruins are now bringing new players into the fold, with the hopes they will provide even more firepower to SLCC’s already-loaded attack after the team collectively persevered through much in the 2020-21 academic year.
“Consistency was a massive key for our team since last August, when we started training for the Spring 2021 competition season,” Ulrich said. “It was a long time to be focused, but the team showed up every day and did the work. I think having that fall semester as a non-competition season helped our freshmen from that class get adjusted academically; we had a team GPA of 3.71 last year, which is incredible. With that performance in the classroom and our performance in the season, I’d say they’ve managed incredibly well, all things considered.
With Ulrich as a first-year head coach, the focus of the team has been on establishing fundamentals and preparing for an arduous run through the Scenic West Athletic Conference. However, while the competitive needs are harsh, the Bruins are also spending time on building team chemistry.
“We had a great team hike in the first week and have had quite a few team dinners,” Ulrich noted. “It’s been great to see the team bond outside of the training environment. Relationships are key and it’s important that we build time for that in each week.
The Scenic West will be a good proving ground for Salt Lake this year, with both SLCC and Snow College making it into the NJCAA semifinals and beyond in the spring season. Snow is ranked at No. 4 in the rankings, with USU Eastern also earning national votes.
Ulrich said competition in the Scenic West is as good as any league in the NJCAA.
“After last season, everyone will be gunning for us and that’s really motivating, and it drives competition within the group,” she said. “The Scenic West is no joke; two programs are nationally ranked in the NJCAA top-four teams, and other teams are right on our heels. The competition is stiff so we’ve got to be locked in every day.”
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