Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Soccer is a sport that is often played in some extreme weather conditions, but when there's more than a foot of snow outside, teams head indoors.
Eau Claire Memorial practices at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center, Wednesday. The Old Abes are the defending WIAA Division 1 sectional champs, but their unbeaten 2012 season ended with a shootout loss in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, something that drove the Abes in the offseason.
"I think it's only going to fuel us, says senior midfielder McKenna Gruber, "we have an old team and we've all been there and have seen how far we can get. It's just going to be about keeping our eyes on the prize."
"It's definitely a factor for all the returners," says senior goalkeeper Jenna Sturz, "because it was an awesome experience getting to state, but that stung. We want to do a lot better than how we performed there, so I think that's going to fuel us to be great this season."
Head coach Kit Schiefelbein has thirteen letterwinners back for this season.
"The players know my expectations, I know what to expect from these players as well," says Schiefelbein, "we did lose some players last year, but for the most part we have our core back. The kids have put in a lot of time in the offseason, so their skills are just that much better. They've put their time in the weight room preparing for this season. So, I think we should be pretty competitive right away."
Memorial is scheduled to open the season on Saturday, April 6, at the Wisconsin Rapids Invitational.
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