Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

Revamped and ready

The USF women’s soccer team is prepared to make an impact in the Big East next season. After struggling to a 7-9-3 record and going 3-6-2 in conference play, coach Logan Fleck is ready for a breakout season. His team has adjusted to the Big East style of play and is set for the new season to begin.

Adjusting to the switch from Conference USA to the Big East has presented an obstacle for the Bulls because of geography. USF is the lone team in the Southeast, with the nearest conference foe being Louisville – a scant 732 miles from Tampa.

“Other (Big East) coaches have come up to me and talked about taking the ‘big trip’ to Florida,” Fleck said. “For us, every trip was the ‘big trip,’ and because of hurricanes last year we were forced to travel even more.”

Last season, four teams in the Big East finished the season in the top 25: No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 14 Marquette, No.19 Connecticut and No. 21 West Virginia. Fleck is predicting a tremendous season for his team in 2006, including a conference championship. The team’s last conference championship came in 1998 as a member of C-USA.

“We expect to win the Big East,” Fleck said. “If we don’t win the regular-season championship, that’s fine, but I want to make sure that we have a top-four seed in the conference so we can go to the (Big East) tournament and win.”

After the Big East Tournament, Fleck talked about qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls have never made a tournament appearance in their 10-year history as a scholarship, varsity team.

“Unlike the rest of the Big East, we would be playing the in the Southeast Regional,” Fleck said. “We hope to have a high ranking so teams like Miami, Florida and Florida State would have to play tournament games here.”

Fleck will set the bar high for his team this season. He said he has prepared a tough out-of-conference schedule in order to help USF obtain a higher ranking. The schedule is set for release on June 27, but Fleck feels he constructed one of the most difficult schedules in the NCAA.

“We played four teams in the top 25 last year right off the bat,” Fleck said. “We aren’t playing any easy, creampuff teams this year. We want to play the toughest teams to show that we have a real record, not a 14-0 record that was easy to get.”

The Bulls’ biggest difference from last season is their approach in practice. The team has been training hard all summer and Fleck feels the preparation will give the players an added boost.

“Soccer is a game where players have to be responsible for their own development,” Fleck said. “This off-season the team has trained relentlessly and are committed to winning games. Anything that it takes to help win games, that’s what they’ve been doing.”