After an early Wednesday morning practice, Arizona soccer head coach Dan Tobias had a stern message for his team: Forget about your youth league success or run the risk of becoming a subpar team.
""Everything you did as a youth player got you here, but some people figure out quicker than others that some of their old habits are going to work and some aren't,"" Tobias said. ""They're going to have to scrap some of the old habits and make a few changes.""
The Wildcats head to Tempe, Ariz. to play in the Sun Devil Desert Classic against No. 14 Virginia today and Old Dominion on Sunday.
Arizona expects the Cavaliers to be a tough test.
""We played them two years ago and they were a very high pressure team,"" said goalkeeper Devon Wharf. ""We have to be ready to be patient on the ball, and if they do high pressure us, we have to be confident under pressure.""
The last time Arizona went up against Virginia was on Sept. 16, 2007, and the Wildcats were shut out 4-0 in the Nike Soccer Classic.
""Virginia is a very good team,"" Tobias said. ""Their coach Steve Swanson is one of the best coaches in college soccer. They're typically a very skilled team and an attacking-oriented team.""
The Wildcats have had tougher practices this week in preparation for their difficult upcoming schedule.
""We play one of the toughest schedules in the country every year, and it puts us in a position where training has to be sharp so we're that much more prepared to play.""
Tobias said sophomore forward Renae Cuellar will be available this weekend after she sat out Sunday's game against San Diego for undisclosed reasons.
The Wildcats expect to have their work cut out for themselves this weekend, but four games into the season, the team feels the pressure to earn their first win.
""I think there is a little pressure on our shoulders to get that first win and there should be,"" Wharf said. ""We've just been unlucky with a lot of things. I mean, two penalty kicks in two games; that's something you don't want to start the season (with), but we're going to come through and hopefully we get our first win Friday.""