Aug. 18, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Day One of the men's soccer practice season at Northwestern University is used to provide a good barometer of the overall fitness level of the squad. If the first day's results are any indication of future success, then the Wildcats are on their way to another stellar season.
"Overall, I was pleased with the team's fitness level," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "It's great that the team came in with great baseline fitness. That will allow us to move more quickly into playing and evaluating the squad. We'll watch them play and then back off later in the week."
NU typically opens the first day of practice at 12:01 a.m., but a scheduling glitch forced the Wildcats to being their fitness testing a bit later on in the early morning hours.
The team opened things up with the annual beep test which is an interval training exercise that becomes increasingly more difficult as the drill goes along and is used by a number of programs, including the United States national team. Senior defender Cody Stanley took top honors in the event.
The Wildcats also participated in the two-mile run with incoming freshman Connor Holloway pacing the rest of the squad.
"It's one of the toughest days of the year," Lenahan said. "All of the alumni chime in to see who the winners were. It's one of those days that you miss the most, even though it's one of the most difficult."
Northwestern already has a competition scheduled for this Saturday as it travels to Villanova to open its exhibition season. The contest opens a road trip to the East Coast with the Wildcats also facing St. John's in Pomona, N.J., Aug. 27. The regular-season opener is slated for Sept. 3 at San Francisco.
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