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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Young soccer players use clubs as learning tools

    Arizonas Jacqueline Zinke drives the ball downfield while fighting off a Texas player during the Wildcats 2-0 win over the Longhorns Sunday night at Murphey Stadium. Zinke and teammate Samantha Drees prepared for this season by playing in national championship games with their respective club teams.
    Arizona’s Jacqueline Zinke drives the ball downfield while fighting off a Texas player during the Wildcats’ 2-0 win over the Longhorns Sunday night at Murphey Stadium. Zinke and teammate Samantha Drees prepared for this season by playing in national championship games with their respective club teams.

    Playing over the summer months is one of collegiate athletes’ most important habits. For the Arizona soccer team, this is no different. Nearly all of the players on the team follow the advice of head coach Dan Tobias and play for some sort of club team in preparation for the college season in the fall.

    “”I think being in the most competitive environment puts you in the best position every day to be challenged and to be pushed,”” Tobias said, “”and that helps everyone to be better prepared for their college season.””

    This summer, however, two players took Tobias’ advice a little further than everyone else. Sophomore Samantha Drees and freshman Jacqueline Zinke both helped their summer club teams to the national championship game in their age divisions.

    Drees, originally from Lorton, Va., played for the Prince William Soccer, Inc. Cardinals of Woodbridge,

    It’s given me a lot of confidence and that’s what I’ve brought to (Arizona).
    – Samantha Drees,midfielder

    who competed in the U-19 division. Zinke played for The Slammers Futbol Club, a U-18 club near her hometown of Corona Del Mar, Calif.

    Though both teams made it to the title game, neither was able to take the title. In fact the two teams saw their hopes dashed in discouraging fashion.

    For Drees’ team, defeat came at the hands of the Carmel (Ind.) Cyclones – a team she said should not have been in the game.

    In the first meeting between the two teams, which the Cardinals won 5-4, there was a discrepancy with a rule regarding a penalty kick that was taken from the Cyclones. Because of the discrepancy, there was a rematch between the two teams on what should have been the Cardinals’ day off.

    In the rematch, the Cyclones tied the Cardinals – which was all they needed to advance – eventually meeting up with Drees’ club in the championship game. In that game, the Cyclones triumphed 2-0 to take the title.

    “”I am pretty bummed,”” Drees said of the situation. “”We were by far the best team. We beat (the Cyclones), we tied them and we lost to them. What else can you do?””

    Zinke’s championship run was perhaps more heartbreaking. After the Slammers took a 1-0 lead in the 79th minute of the game, the opposing team, the Bloomfield (Mich.) Force, scored in the 90th minute to send the game to overtime and then to penalty kicks. The Force then defeated the Slammers 6-5 to win the championship.

    “”It sucks, because we were winning,”” Zinke said. “”It was definitely a painful loss.””

    Despite the agonizing losses, both players admitted that at least the experience of playing in the championship games was beneficial.

    “”Those were some pretty big games, so hopefully that will carry over to the big games (in college),”” Zinke said.

    Drees said the championship run gave her a confidence boost in addition to the big-game experience.

    “”I played all through summer, and I think I played the best I’ve played in a while,”” Drees said. “”It’s given me a lot of confidence and that’s what I’ve brought to (Arizona).””

    Both players are integral parts of Arizona’s starting offense. While neither have scored thus far, both have been responsible for aggressively pushing the ball upfield and setting their teammates up for good looks at the net.

    Tobias said he has noticed a positive change in the women since their summer championship runs.

    “”When you get in those environments, it gives you confidence that you carry into the college season,”” Tobias said. “”(Drees and Zinke) are both very good players and play with a lot of confidence. I think their summer experience really helped in their preparation for this fall.””

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