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Aug. 23, 2007

South Carolina began their first day of classes Thursday, marking the end of two-a-days for the women’s soccer team as they prepare for the 2007 season. The Gamecocks open Saturday, Sept. 1, with a 12-noon match against #1 North Carolina. Carolina’s home opener is slated for Monday, Sept. 3, against East Tennessee State. All youth under 18 will be admitted to that game for free, and the first 100 South Carolina fans will receive a Gamecock keychain.

Senior team captain and preseason All-SEC member Ashley Kirk spoke with USCSPORTS.COM about preseason practice, team chemistry, the season opener against North Carolina and some of the fresh faces that will take the field for USC this season.

Ashley Kirk, Sr., Midfield
“It was hot. It went well. We definitely got through it. We worked hard. I feel like we accomplished what we needed to accomplish to prepare us for the actual season.”

“Team chemistry is great. There’s not a whole lot of freshman. It’s pretty much the same core. My freshman year we had 14 freshmen. We still have eight of us, and with that same core we’ve had for four years, team chemistry is good.”

“Everybody is very excited for this season. Obviously opening with UNC puts some excitement into everyone’s minds and got us through some of our workouts and the hot days in preseason.”

“The freshmen are adjusting well. There have been some injuries, which haven’t caused problems but definitely adversity. Brooke Jacobs is a really good forward. Dani Monteiro’s playing center-mid for us at the top. Brittiny Rhoades is doing a very good job on the outside back. She should be a key player for us this year. She has a lot of speed to add to our defense which will be crucial for us in the SEC.”