Teams shared their passion, expectations and hopes for the Fall 2015 season during the SF State athletics department’s inaugural media day press conference Wednesday.

Coaches and players from men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball were in attendance. The speakers provided insight on key players to watch, tactical changes, philosophies and overarching goals.

SF State men's cross country team member Logan Smith (left), Head Coach Tom Lyons (middle) and team member Michael Garaventa (right) respond to questions during a sports press conference held at SF State Thursday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez /  Xpress)

SF State men’s cross country team member Logan Smith (left), Head Coach Tom Lyons (middle) and team member Michael Garaventa (right) respond to questions during a sports press conference held at SF State Thursday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez / Xpress)

Men’s head soccer coach Matt Barnes said his team focused on channeling their perception as an underrated squad to motivate them.

“For the better part of my life, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder,” Barnes said

Head coach Tracy Hamm of women’s soccer said she used her passion to motivate her team.

“I tell my team all the time— ‘I don’t like to just win games. I like to punish teams,'” Hamm said.

Players also talked about what they wanted out of their upcoming season. Team captains and seasoned veterans, namely Jessica Nicerio of women’s volleyball and Max Talbert of men’s soccer, affirmed their desire to be leaders for young players.

“It’s really rewarding to be a captain and an example, vocally and on the court,” Nicerio said.

Adriana Calva, a sophomore from a youthful cross country team, said that she was confident that the team, a squad of mostly second-year runners, could take the next step.

“This season with a lot of returners and a lot of new transfers, we’ll be really great!” Calva said.

SF State Sports Information directors Joe Danahey and Matt Fontenot and Athletics Director Charles Guthrie oversaw the press conference. Although it was a new experience for most everyone involved, Danahey said he considered the event a considerable success.

Adriana Calva (right), a member of SFSU women's cross country team,  responds to questions during a sports press conference held at SFSU on Thursday September 2, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez /  Xpress)

Adriana Calva (right), a member of SFSU women’s cross country team, responds to questions during a sports press conference held at SFSU on Thursday September 2, 2015. (Joel Angel Juárez / Xpress)

“I’ve wanted to bring this idea forward for as long as I’ve been here, and I’ve been here for 13 years. It went exactly as we hoped it would— awesome,” said Danahey, who said he sees this event as a start of a changing SF State image.

According to Danahey, future press conferences are in the works, and the department will continue to use resources such as its new sports marketing internship program, other universities’ examples and ideas from their own staff to further the promotion of SF State athletics.

“We’ve been branded as a commuter school without a sports presence,” Danahey said. “These are the kind of opportunities we have to change that attitude and make a statement.”

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