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Men's soccer opens season Thursday

Back together on the field as a full squad for the first time since the 2010 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Championship game, the University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team opened practice for the 2011 season on Aug. 18.

Under second year head coach Scott Turnbull, the team wasted little time, jumping right into two-a-day practices. They held their first practice of the day, bright and early, at 8 a.m. before returning to the southeast end of campus for their second session of the day at 3 p.m.

They then wrapped up the day with a solid 30 minutes of scrimmaging, with the returners mixing nicely with the new recruits. It should also be noted that men's soccer was the first Cougar team to sport the new logo on their practice gear.

"It was a good first day," Turnbull said. "We got a lot of new faces in here and some of them I haven't seen a lot, and I was pretty impressed, overall, what we have for our team this year."

The scrimmage was not without the usual first-day miscues, but the usual suspects showed they came back ready to play. Senior forward Toby Glaser could consistently be found up top creating plays, including a nice effort just blocked at the point of attack. Fellow senior Tyler Weber was also solid in goal, charting some nice stops on the day.

The goal for Glaser, Weber and the rest of the Cougars is as it always is, to win the UMAC and win the Conference Tournament, as noted by both Matt Johnson and Greg Borchers.

"I came here to play in the national tournament," Borchers said. "And losing to St. Scholastica last year 4-1, it wasn't really just a loss it was kind of a thrashing. It hurt, and it hurt for a while, especially since they're our rival and we've played them for the last three years in the finals. It makes you work hard."

The Cougars will run through practice for the week before opening the season at Saint John's on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.