With the first game of the season -- a road match at Auburn -- finally here after weeks of preseason training, Longhorns goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger outlined her game day routine for the opening match against the Tigers in Auburn, Ala.
The 2006 preseason Big 12 All-Conference selection shared with TexasSports.com what she goes through on a typical day with the team on the road -- from waking up and reading in the morning until the team meeting after the game.
Good morning, Longhorns!!
My day started around 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Since we have our first match against Auburn later on this evening, we slept in and had breakfast at 10 a.m., which is a little later than my normal start. Typically, I get up early because we have morning training at 7 a.m.
Before I went to breakfast, I spent the first hour of my day listening to music on my IPod and reading my bible. I do this to get mentally ready and relax before each match.
Around 10 a.m., I headed downstairs for breakfast at the hotel buffet for the third day in a row. I feasted on eggs, a toasted bagel with butter and some fresh fruit. The fruit here at the hotel is amazing; they had my favorite too -- pineapples!! Since I knew we weren't eating again until pregame (around 3 p.m.), I loaded up on the food.
This particular morning, I sat with Yobel (Gaski), Emily (Anderson) and Priscilla (Fite). I love our team because we have great chemistry, don't have any cliques and get along really well. That's a big reason I love playing for Coach (Chris) Petrucelli and the Longhorns.
After breakfast, I wanted to go downstairs and check out the business center and my email. I got a little detoured, instead taking a stroll around the hotel grounds. We are staying at a hotel on a golf course -- so you can imagine the awesome views we have of some of the holes. I wanted to snap a few pictures of the holes that were in view of the hotel for my dad because he's really into the sport. I ran into Priscilla in the hallway and she went along with me.
On our stroll, we found an activity area with horseshoes and stuff so we took a break from our "photo shoot" to play a few rounds. After tossing some horseshoes, we continued our walk, but cut it short because it started getting hot again. I'm sure my teammates mentioned the humidity here in Alabama. I had to come upstairs and change because I was really sweaty and hot from my excursion.
After my walk, I joined Kasey Moore, Casey Mogk and Megan (Upah) and we watched a movie (When A Stranger Calls). Even though scary movies freak me out, I still will rent them or go to the movies to watch them. It's definitely a love-hate relationship because my heart will race the entire time and I'll scream during the movie but end up loving it in the end.
With one movie down and a few more hours before pregame, Kasey (Moore) and I elected to rent another movie (Poseidon) until it was time to go downstairs and eat lunch. Jesus, one of our team managers, joined us for the second viewing.
About halfway through, we had to stop the movie to go to our pregame meal, where we ate and listened to coach talk strategy for the match.
Once we were finished, I came back up to my room to finish the movie, shower and get ready to leave for the stadium.
We arrived at the soccer field about an hour before the match started and began our conditioning about 40 minutes before the game. I warmed up with (assistant coach) Matt (Mott) working on training and goalkeeping drills. I came up a little short of breath during the conditioning started but was fine once the game clock started.
During the match, especially in the first half, I felt really good. I was trying to keep my focus during the game and keep Auburn out of the box.
After the game, we had dinner and met with the team, reviewing our performance. I was a little disappointed and frustrated because I hate getting scored on and I hate losing. In our meeting, we addressed our mistakes and what we can take from that, which is extremely motivating because we all want to come out and do what we can to win the next game.
We have a couple of big games next weekend when No. 3 Penn State and No. 13 Illinois come to Mike A. Myers Stadium. We're going to take this week to get ready for them before going out and playing hard against both teams. We know that we're capable of playing at an extremely high level so we're motivated to challenge our opponents every game but we also have to take it one game at a time.
Look for us next weekend at home in Austin!!