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Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer

A total of 84 teams flocked to Heritage Oak Park for the unofficial kickoff of the soccer season.

The Mason Women’s Preseason Classic took place on July 22 through 24 at Heritage Oak Park. With tryouts on the horizon, athletes were put into four different teams to demonstrate their skills.

Coach Andy Schur said he wanted to give his players an opportunity to play some games before tryouts.

“It definitely allows us to figure out where players’ strengths are,” Schur said. “When we get to the tryout process, we can really put them in the position to showcase their talents and be as successful as they can be.”

Upcoming senior Brooke Radcliffe found a lot of success with her two-goal performance in a 2-2 tie against East Central High School. Radcliffe said the preseason games were necessary.

“I think it’s pretty important getting us out here and working together,” Radcliffe said. “It’s kind of like a scrimmage before the season.”

With athletes being inserted into different teams, players needed to connect with one another and build chemistry over the duration of the weekend. Despite players competing with one another, Radcliffe said chemistry was not an issue.

“It’s hard at first because everyone is trying to compete and show their stuff,” Radcliffe said. “But it’s fine because the chemistry grows as we play more games together.”

Teams and clubs from Ohio and Indiana would go on to play five games over a three-day period.

With several games being played, getting players experience before tryouts and the season was Schur’s top priority; however, he was impressed with one of his teams coming back from a 2-0 deficit against East Central.

“Results are very unimportant at this stage,” Schur said. “But it was nice to see the team comeback from a 2-0 deficit and tie the game. This is something we can reference during the season.”

Schur said tryouts can be a stressful process for players and coaches, but the Preseason Classic can help eliminate stress before tryouts begin.

“Tryouts is a very stressful three day process,” Schur said. “It’s good for the players to have an opportunity to play with a little less stress prior to the tryout process.”

Check out the article on the CSPN: http://thecspn.com/?p=38805

bhudnell.chronicle@gmail.com

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