With preseason soccer in full swing, the Bears are back on the field for Double Days – up to two practices a day in which they focus on different aspects of their game, whether it be offensive, defensive or mental training. During the 2014 preseason, CalBears.com will be your home for an inside look at preseason camp straight from the players themselves. 

Final Wrap-Up (Aug. 18)

Returner's Perspective: Grace Leer

This past weekend we had our retreat at Lair of the Bear at Pinecrest Lake and it was so much fun! My favorite day was the last full day where we went to the lake and had a nice jog looking at the beautiful scenery of Pinecrest, and then got to relax the rest of the day and indulge in amazing soft serve ice cream! Being at Lair of the Bear was very eye-opening to see just how big our Cal Alumni base is and how cool it is to be a part of something so much greater than our soccer team. I am grateful to have had the weekend to get to know my teammates and coaches that much better. The Cal community is amazing and I have never been more proud to be a BEAR! 

Returner's Perspective: Kory Lamet

This weekend was so fun! We played an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday, which was very good quality and a lot of fun to play in. It made me even more excited for our first game this Friday! Friday night we arrived at the Lair and got settled before we went to dinner. It was an early night since we were so tired from the scrimmage, so everyone passed out early. That was until we were woken up by our assistant coach Chris Lemay and our student coach Rachel Merick who decided it would be fun to scare 33 girls by making animal noises and running through the woods. REAL FUNNY GUYS. Saturday was amazing. We spent all day at Pinecrest Lake which was absolutely amazing. The lake was perfectly blue with nothing but green mountains across the lake. Later that night out, the freshmen did our annual skit which happens every year at the retreat and it was HILLARIOUS. They did a spinoff of the Bachelorette and impersonated us seniors. After the skit we had s'mores and then went to bed. All in all it was an amazing weekend and reminded me of how lucky I am to be a part of such an incredible team! 

Freshmen Perspective: Staci Burland and Heather Walleigh

The retreat this past weekend was so fun! From being woken up in the middle of the night to a water gun fight by our coaches on Friday, to a beautiful day by the lake on Saturday and a wonderful bonfire at night, you could definitely say the retreat was full of great memories. Everything we did was such a good time and we are so incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing team! As freshmen we really enjoyed all the bonding we did, even though a few of us ended up with egg in our hair.  Every older girl set such and example for us this weekend and we feel like we have a better understanding of what being a Cal Bear is all about. We can all agree that after this weekend we feel like a much bigger part of this team and we know that every person matters, on and off the field.


Day 4 (Aug. 11)

Returner's Perspective: Celeste Boureille

We started off today's double day with a short but productive morning practice.  We concentrated on offensive and defensive principles of play, while also focusing on terminology and body position.  After a relaxing recovery, an ice bath and a healthy lunch, we got ready for our first Blue and Gold Match this evening.  The match's selfless plays, the fighting gleam in our eyes and the high level of play shown this evening all came together to reassure me of the success this team is capable of.  We worked hard the entire 60 minutes, focusing on little details and incorporating what we've worked on thus far.  Having the match videotaped will enable each of us to search for and pick out those things we can learn from and/or improve on.  Looking toward this weekend, I can't wait for an adventurous camping trip that offers an opportunity to get to know my new teammates.  Beyond the retreat, I'm excited for our upcoming first game of the 2014 season!

Day 3 (Aug. 8)

Returner's Perspective: Samantha Witteman and Karly Graf


Day 2 (Aug. 7)

Returner's Perspective: Ifeoma Onumonu

After day 2 of preseason I can already see everything coming into focus. We definitely brought the intensity from the first set of double days into this practice. The focus of the day's session was defending. One of the hardest parts of this game is digging in and winning the ball back after it is lost. As an attacker I know how difficult it is to track back or follow my runner, but I realize that if we focus and perfect this major detail we will find nothing but success. We worked hard today and really bared our all in this session. We have another big day ahead of us, and if we keep this momentum going I can't wait to see how we look this upcoming season.

Freshman Perspective: Melissa Lewis

Preseason day 2 is now complete! This morning's session was a great one as we worked hard on becoming warriors on defense through 1v1's, 2v2's and other defensive drills. As freshmen, we realized that it is very important for us to pick up on the terminology that the coaches teach us because it is the key to all of us being on the same page and will help us to be successful. We ended with our very first full-field scrimmage of the season and I thought that our team chemistry and the way we are working so well together so early in the season was fantastic. Playing at such a high pace with such great players is quickly helping me become a better player. We had a quick turnaround to our next hour-long session of set pieces which was very informative for us freshmen as well. My first experience of collegiate double days has been tough but rewarding, and I can't wait to see how the rest of preseason plays out! Go Bears!

 Day 1 (Aug. 6)

Returner's Perspective: Kelsie Dickerson

The first day of preseason has come to an end, and with it two impressive practice sessions.  The Bears have begun to create a solid foundation on which they will continue to build for the rest of the season.  The runs were sharp, the passes clean, and the general attitude intense and focused.  On this team, every athlete knows her soccer basics to a tee and loves the game.  The biggest challenge will be, in the upcoming months, to combine all of this individual talent into a fluid, cohesive unit-- a challenge that will, without a doubt, be met and conquered head-on.

Whereas today's practices were more offensively-focused, tomorrow morning we will be working on team defense.  Can't wait to get started!  GO BEARS.

Freshman Perspective: Haley Lukas and Emily Boyd

Emily and I never thought this day would finally come. The day we get to finally fulfill our dreams of being collegiate athletes, officially. But not just any college athletes -- we get to represent the No. 1 public university in the nation.. We haven’t been here for long, but it’s hard not to fall in love with the campus and unique vibe of Berkeley! We just finished our first day of training and are really excited for a great season! Coming into the day, we were pretty nervous for this new experience. Our coaching staff quickly made this nervousness disappear with their positivity and feedback. The team has so many talented players that make you better simply by playing with them. This being our first year, it’s really nice that the upperclassmen have been so welcoming to us! I know that we are going to have not only a successful season, but a year full of fun! We get to play the game we love with a great team and we are excited to be roommates on top of it all! It’ll be a great year of school, sports and late night trips to CREAM for ice cream sandwiches!

For more exclusive behind-the-scenes content, be sure to ‘like’ Cal Women’s Soccer on Facebook, and follow the @CalWomensSoccer Instagram and Twitter feeds.

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