The Wisconsin men's soccer team laced up their cleats for the first time in 2009 on Wednesday, as the Badgers began their fall training camp with the first of two scheduled practices on the North Field adjacent to Camp Randall Stadium.
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After an hour-long fitness session that was highlighted by a two-mile run -- which junior Aaron Nichols paced at 11 minutes, 20 seconds -- the Badgers assembled at the North Field and drilled for 1 1/2 hours before breaking for lunch.
"Fitness-wise, we're where we need to be and we're not going to have to
play catch-up," head coach Todd Yeagley said. "If you come in way behind, it's difficult to make it up
in the preseason when you're taxing their bodies as much as we will."
The focus on day one of camp was on individual work, and the first practice concluded with the Badgers separating into two groups for an attacking drill. The players each rotated through to take on a pair of defenders and a goalkeeper individually with the objective of scoring.
Overall, Yeagley and his staff walked away pleased from his group's first training session.
"The objective today was to do some fitness and see where the team is and then breaking it down into individual principles and teaching that the game breaks down to those 1v1 principles on both sides of the ball," Yeagley said. "The team came back in good shape, the attention to detail was good and the effort was fantastic."