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The College Experience: Shaping up

Photo: Teagan Dawson

Editor’s note: “The College Experience” is a weekly first-person series about what it’s really like to be a college soccer player. 

Another collegiate preseason has come and gone.

This preseason was both trying and satisfying in my eyes. Our coach did not overrun us. However, we did do a “beep test” in both the first and second morning sessions to measure our fitness.

If you’re unfamiliar, the beep test is sort of like a continuous shuttle run. You run back and forth between two points 20 meters apart. These runs are synchronized with a pre-recorded audio tape that plays beeps every time you are expected to run the 20 meters. The first couple levels are easy as each beep has lots of time in between, but around level 10 or 12 you have to really push to achieve the highest level you’re capable of. The first day I ran it I got to around level 12 and the second day level 14ish.   

In the evening sessions of our two-a-day practices, we opened it up and played. This allowed our coaching staff to see which players we were going to lean on, which ones need some progressing, and which players should play in which positions.

After the first two days of two-a-days, we just had one session the third day. On our fourth day, we had a scrimmage against a Penn State satellite school. Then, after a day off, we had another scrimmage against Cabrini College. The scrimmages gave us a good idea as to how we’re going to match up against quality sides this coming year. We learned a lot about what we have, and what we need to work on for our opening two games this coming weekend. 

In each scrimmage, we played three 30-minute periods. This setup allowed both teams to get some squad rotation in — so everyone could get a run in. For our returners, this preseason was refreshing having a new coach and a new system to learn. And for our freshmen, I feel they’re doing a good job trying to roll with the punches in adjusting to the faster-paced college game. My teammates and I have been trying to preach for our underclassmen not to get down on themselves after mistakes. The biggest take away a first-year player should have from their preseason is to have a short memory and a high work ethic, always improving and looking for the next ball.  

We ended up losing both scrimmages. But the goals weren’t in the run of play for the most part – just some miscommunication at times and us not doing our due diligence marking up on set pieces. That, though, will be a quick fix. I pride myself on winning set-pieces defensively especially but also offensively. 

As for off the field stuff, I haven’t grocery shopped in weeks. I’ve been living off Wawa and takeout dinners as well as sneaking into the Rosemont Cafeteria for meals. Since I moved off campus I don’t have a meal plan… but they don’t seem to mind me coming and eating anyway.

My roommate and I cooked once or twice but I’d prefer to cook more. Chicken with either pasta or rice is my go-to meal. (I’ve heard Wegmans has a good deal on frozen salmon, but King of Prussia Wegmans can be a zoo. I think I prefer Giant, although Trader Joe’s is growing on me.)  

Food aside, a new semester’s worth of classes started up on Monday. I have three classes two times a week and two classes three times a week. So far, so good. My favorite class is going to be  Sports Journalism, where my professor is Dei Lynam. You may recognize the name — she was the court-side broadcaster for the Sixers during the Iverson era, and she also does 97.5 sports radio on the weekends. Needless to say, her knowledge of sports journalism is extensive. I look forward to learning as much as I can from her as I continue to polish my writing and professionalism in the media realm.

Despite the excitement and responsibility beginning classes stirs up, I must remain focused on my game. I didn’t play up to my own standards in the scrimmages. I need to get sharper in possession, stay composed on the ball, and tackle, tackle, tackle. 

We have a couple more practices before our first game this Saturday to tie up loose ends. The excitement on campus is electric. Without a football team, our men’s and women’s soccer teams get full support from our college. I’m eager to make them proud this coming year!

I will be a couple of games into the season by the time I post again, when I will update on results and continue to share my College Experience!                   


  1. Scott of Nazareth says:

    What position(s) do you tend to play? Did you play the same position for club and HS?

    Great stuff Will! Best of luck this season – look forward to reading more about it!

  2. Will Boehmer says:

    I tend to play in the back or as an outside mid now.

    In High School I didn’t play the same position that I did in club. I played outside back in high school but outside mid for club.

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to it as well!

  3. I really enjoy your reports, especially how you blend the on and off-field aspects of your life. Keep it up!

    You might want to check out the Whole Foods in Wynnewood. It’s closer to Rosemont than the KOP Wegmans and I like it a whole lot more.

    • Will Boehmer says:

      Thank you, Micah! I have been to that Whole Foods. There is an Organic Grocery Store closer to Rosemont called MOM’s Organic Market. I went there for the first time the other week.

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