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Soccer Wraps Up First Week of Practice

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's soccer team has wrapped up its first week of practice in preparation for the 2013 season under head coach Andre Luciano. The Lumberjacks will begin their season on the road, August 23, against Long Beach State.

"I am really pleased with this team's learning curve," Luciano said. "It is a combination of us having a veteran group of players that have played together for some time now and also for a freshman class that is willing to take in information and apply it immediately."

The 2013 team will have tons of leadership on the field, returning 10 starters that include Savannah Berry, Diane Buzzard, Elinor Priest and Alana D'Onofrio. Although the team presents a veteran group of players, Luciano and his staff also brings in 15 newcomers to the team.

"The younger players are fitting in great with the upperclassmen," said D'Onofrio, a senior defender. " The freshman have really picked up the pace of play and have pushed us as upperclassmen to be even better."

Newcomers on the team are already making an immediate impact on the field and have been welcomed into the NAU soccer family. Although it has only been a week, the new faces on campus have enjoyed their time in Flagstaff.

"The first week was not as bad as we expected because we came in shape," said freshman defender Danny Muniz. "The upperclassmen have been welcoming so the first week has been nice."

Looking to make some noise in the Big Sky Conference this year, Luciano will look to his veteran group of players to lead the charge to start, while the freshman can make a name for themselves as the season progresses.

"I'm really happy that the team is buying into the philosophy we are trying to create," said Luciano. "Week one is now into the books and now we look forward to week two."

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