Arizona soccer head coach Tony Amato knows that every legacy has a starting point. His tenure began in January 2013 when he arrived at the University of Arizona.
At one of the first team meetings, he sat his team down and asked them what values they wanted to embody.
It was here that the seven core values of Arizona soccer were born: consistency, heart, unity, resiliency, discipline, winning mentality and work ethic.
“My favorite core value is unity because I think that without unity it is hard to achieve our common goals together,” rising senior Brie DeFelice said. “If our goal is to make it to the tournament, then it will take every single one of us working hard as a single unit to achieve it.”
The players are fully aware of the group effort it takes to win, including an active coaching staff.
“They have set out a detailed plan of exactly what they want to do and have structured it so everyone knows their individual roles in order to make our goals happen,” DeFelice said. “Every game we have a game plan. How they set us up to play is going to be successful, it's just whether we execute it or not.”
Living the core values is easy for rising senior Julia Glanz because she knows Amato is going to hold her accountable.
“He is very straight forward,” Glanz said. “He lets you know exactly what you need to do to bring success to the team.”
But there is one core value that Glanz has no trouble remembering.
“Worth ethic is one of my core values, I keep it in mind everyday at training,” Glanz said. “With hard work comes improvement. With improvement come success, which is ultimately the goal we are striving for.”
With a year of building the program behind them, rising senior Gabby Kaufman has faith the team is destined for success.
“Starting this season is the changing point for our program and making it as successful as it should be,” said Kaufman. “I think this is a big year for the program. Last year was our transition year and we improved so much. We can only get better.”
Last fall, the Wildcats won four Pac-12 games, including a thrilling overtime win against USC and a season-ending win against rival Arizona State. The 2014 senior class is not satisfied and is ready to make a bigger impact in the conference.
“Our goal for this season is to be the most successful, win more Pac-12 games,” DeFelice said. “We have won a little more every year and this year is about really making a statement.”
But for Glanz, she has her sights set higher.
“We want to make it to the NCAA tournament, “ Glanz said. “We were close this past year and that is the ultimate goal.“
A successful season would be their way of leaving their mark on Arizona soccer.
“I want to leave this program and make an impact,” Kaufman said. “I want to be that team that started the process of building this legacy.”