CHICKASHA – With the tight turn around between a lazy summer and college soccer season, the Drover men and women have been battling through tough workouts and preseason matches to prepare for game one.
Workouts were sometimes twice or three times a day so the teams would be ready to compete just two weeks after checking in, head coach Jimmy Hampton said.
“We look OK. You squeeze a lot, a lot, of stuff in in a very short amount of time,” Hampton said. “The kids have put in a ton of work … things are going well.”
The Drover women returned most of their key players from 2013 and have one of the best recruiting classes in school history, so Hampton and his coaching staff are hopeful that they’ve put together a team prepared for anything.
“I’m very excited for the women,” Hampton said. “You throw some new, talented players in with a group that experienced so many ups and downs last year, and you’ve kind of got a battled tested team, believe it or not. Our expectations are super high for the women.”
The men start off the season ranked 17th in the NAIA and picked to win the Sooner Athletic Conference, even though the team is composed of half newcomers and half returners.
“Our goal is to continue to strive above that. Again, 17, we want to be No. 1. Game by game, day by day, can we achieve that? We are certainly going to try,” Hampton said. “We’ve got a lot of pieces to put in place, but there are some pieces there.”
Both teams had a preseason win on Monday against Oklahoma Wesleyan. The women played a home exhibition against NCAA Division II East Central on Thursday, and the men travel to NCAA Division I Oral Roberts at 5:45 p.m. Friday for their final preseason match.
The women open up the 2014 season on the road at Bacone College on Aug. 26. Both teams play two away games in Kansas before their home opener against Our Lady of the Lake at 3 and 5 p.m. Sept. 5. See full women's schedule ; men's schedule