Horns and Wheels up: On the road with Texas soccer
Sept. 21, 2012
AMES, Iowa - It's finally here. We are finally on our way to start the Big 12 Conference season.
When the exhibition game against Texas State came, we were all excited because we were able to start playing. Then the nonconference matches arrived and we were excited the regular season had begun. You look forward to the Big 12 season so much. It feels like it takes forever to get here. Everybody is really chomping at the bit to start it off tonight.
Our season hasn't necessarily started how we wanted it to, but we've come really far and learned a lot from it. The opening of Big 12 play couldn't come at a more perfect time for us.
I think the mentality of our team has changed a little bit. Everybody realizes now these next eight matches are what matter the most. Hopefully that is displayed on the field.
For me, I want to play wherever [head coach] Ange [Kelly] wants me to, and to do so the best I can. That may be at forward, in the midfield or on defense. I want to be a factor and help the team in any way I can. I want to lead from wherever I am positioned on the field.
There's a lot of excitement around us now. The freshmen are excited to start Big 12 play. The upperclassmen, we know what it takes once conference starts. Hopefully we come out and perform well.
All our games are important, but our league games we have to win to go to the tournament. These games, and results, undoubtedly count every time. We're playing for two different tournament titles now - the regular season and the tournament.
We play these same Big 12 teams year after year. There's that rivalry that exists between us. We want to be the best in the conference because that's what we came to Texas to do and that's what all Texas teams strive for. For me personally it's always really extra fun when we play Oklahoma and Oklahoma State because I know players on those teams.
As a freshman, sophomore or junior there's always another year. You always think you have a lot of time. Now, these are the last eight games that I'm guaranteed to play. You never want to take any of the time for granted, whether you're on the field or hanging out with your teammates. You're valuing every minute. You have a lot left, but I've never been able to say I only had eight guaranteed games left.
When the team got on the bus Thursday morning Kristin Cummins, Hannah Higgins and I gave everybody a cookie we made Wednesday night. We wanted to show there was a difference from nonconference to conference play. Not that cookies make a difference, but we wanted to demonstrate this trip was different. We could have done anything, but just wanted to give us a reminder. There's more to come, perhaps even Friday before we play!