|Soccer opens fall camp|
MOSCOW – Blending a one-to-one ratio of newcomers and returnees will be the main goal for Idaho soccer coach Pete Shower during fall camp, which began Wednesday morning and will continue with two-a-day practices for the next two weeks.
“There’s a lot of learning that goes on,” Showler said of having 13 newcomers on the field for the first time together on Wednesday. “The nice thing is we’ve got a group who know what our focus is, with 13 returnees and 13 newcomers, so it balances out really well. The returnees are already doing a fantastic job of communicating and taking the new players under their wings, and I’ve got to compliment them on that.”
The Vandals don’t have much time before their first on-field test. Oklahoma will visit Idaho for an exhibition match on Aug. 16 at 4 p.m. at Guy Wicks Field.
“It’s not long before we play Oklahoma, but we’ve got to try to get them all on the same page,” Showler said. “Will we all be on the same page by the time we play Oklahoma? Probably not, but each day we will take steps towards that, and the sooner we get to that stage, the better.”
Idaho opens the regular season on Aug. 23 when it visits Weber State, and Showler expects to see some healthy competition from within his team in the meantime.
“It’s very competitive,” he said. “With the first one under the belt I think the nerves are finally over they were able to shake some of the rust off. When you’re recruiting them you don’t get the chance to see them playing as often so it’s always nice that first day to see them trying to prove themselves and there was a lot of that today so it was pleasing to see.”
After five road matches, the Vandals will host Eastern Washington in the home-opener on Sept. 13, and when fans get to Guy Wicks Field they’ll notice a new addition behind the sidelines. Locker rooms were added for both the Vandals and visitors behind each team’s bench. The structures will provide a private team-meeting area during games, which Showler noted will be particularly useful during halftime.
“It looks great, aesthetically, and it’s nice to have a place to go at halftime to isolate ourselves from everything else that’s going on,” he said. “It gives us a captured audience. We can get them inside there and we can chat and be focused. We’ll make it a little home away from home when we need it. It’s a big change and it’s another step forward for the Vandal program.”