The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s soccer team arrived on campus over the weekend to begin its preseason camp for the 2008 campaign. The schedule for the student-athletes consists of a heavy dose of training both on and off the field. For the first-year players these days are critical as they become acclimated to the campus as well as their teammates. Included in the pre-season schedule is a daily morning stretch followed by an on-field practice session. From there the athletes will head to the dining hall for lunch with another practice in the afternoon. Each night will conclude with a team meeting after dinner followed by some well-deserved sleep.
Coach Larry Zelenz will look to senior co-captains Flynn Stewart-Franzen and Todd Johnson for leadership throughout the 2008 season. Along with the two captains, fellow seniors Jesus Espina-Velosa and Ben Eriksson accompanied Coach Zelenz on a four-day canoe trip last week to the Boundary Waters for some relaxation and bonding time before the start of training camp. Stewart-Franzen said that the trip, “was a fun and rewarding experience where I had a chance to get to know the other seniors and Coach Zelenz away from the soccer field.”
Training camp for the defending Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference co-champion Golden Gusties begins with 48 players, nine of which are returning letter winners. These players will look to replace the loss of twelve seniors that led the team to a 16-4-1 record and their fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.
The Gusties have less than two weeks to prepare for their season opening road trip to Spokane, Wash. from August 29-31 where they will face Pacific Lutheran University and Whitworth University, the team that eliminated them from the NCAA Tournament a year ago.