The women’s soccer team fea­tures 12 new faces this season, including 11 freshmen. But based on what coaches have seen thus far, the word around pre­season work­outs hasn’t been “young.” It’s been “depth.”

This is the deepest team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said head coach Tracey Leone, who has led the Huskies since 2010. “Our new­comers com­prise a very tal­ented group and they’ll add a great deal of depth to our team.

We play so many games in such a short amount of time,” she added. “It’s a gru­eling season, so that will really help us.”

The new­comers didn’t take long to break through. Freshman for­ward Haley Sin­clair netted both of the Huskies’ goals in the first exhi­bi­tion game against the Boston Breakers on Aug. 11.

Along with the infu­sion of new talent, Leone has observed another wel­come sight this pre­season: Across the board, players showed up for work­outs in phe­nom­enal shape. Coaches were impressed by their per­for­mance in fit­ness drills starting with the first day of training, she said, cred­iting the suc­cess to the group’s com­mit­ment to working out and playing com­pet­i­tively over the summer.

Senior cap­tain Hanna Terry agreed. On a recent day off, Terry wan­dered into Cabot Cage to find a group of freshmen working on their shooting and foot­work. She also noted that players have been run­ning extra laps and joining their team­mates in run­ning drills to improve their conditioning.

Goalkeeper Paige Burnett returns this season after earning an All-CAA third team nod last season.

Goal­keeper Paige Bur­nett returns this season after earning an All-​​CAA third team nod last season.

Now, with the team’s season opener looming on Friday, it’s a matter of trans­lating that com­mit­ment to on-​​field success.

Terry is joined this season by an accom­plished group of returning vet­erans who will help lead and mentor their younger team­mates. Among them is goal­keeper Paige Bur­nett, who last season com­piled a 1.49 goals against average, five shutouts, and a .752 save per­centage en route to earning an All-​​CAA third team nod. Another is mid­fielder Hannah O’Donnell, the team’s top returning points leader who recorded four goals and six assists last season.

Terry and O’Donnell netted a goal apiece in the team’s final pre­season game, a 2–2 tie with Col­gate last Sunday.

The team’s 2012 season ended in heart­breaking fashion last fall, when the Huskies lost in the CAA tour­na­ment to Hof­stra on penalty kicks. But Terry said the loss has served as motivation.

Everyone saw poten­tial that we had,” she said. “We’re using it as fuel this season.”

Last season, the Huskies (9–9-1) faced six teams in their first seven games that earned NCAA tour­na­ment bids. The team went 1–6 in those games, but the tough schedule pre­pared the Huskies for con­fer­ence play, in which they com­piled a 7–3 record.

This season, Northeastern’s non­con­fer­ence schedule is just as challenging—starting with a road game against No. 5 UCLA in the season opener. That con­test is the first in a two-​​game set in Cal­i­fornia. After playing UCLA, the Huskies will face Loyola Mary­mount on Sunday.

The team will then face North­western in its home opener at Par­sons Field on Friday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. Con­fer­ence play for the Huskies begins Sept. 27 with a road game at the Col­lege of Charleston.

Our con­fer­ence is strong, and the margin of error is going to be tiny within those games,” Terry said. “We’re striving to be the team that’s con­sis­tent. Every­thing in our out-​​of-​​conference schedule will be pre­pare us for those in-​​conference.”

Check out this North­eastern Ath­letics video pro­file on senior cap­tain Hanna Terry: