Following Foster: Oct. 13
I’m just checking in after two weeks of school, soccer and studying. Since the last time we talked (or read that is), we played at home against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma and then again on the road, winning at Kansas and Colorado.
On the Friday of the Oklahoma State match (Sept. 29), we went through our normal routine – pre-game meal at 3:30 p.m., head to Myers afterwards and then warm up. We came out against the Cowgirls, who led the conference in wins and losses at the time, and lost. Heading into the match, we were a little hyped because of the previous weekend’s big wins on the road. In the match against OSU, we went down a goal against a team that’s hard to come back and beat. It was disappointing but we learned from that game (as we do each match) and moved on. We have to continue to take each game, one at a time, because we’ve been very successful when we do that. We have a great record (10-3-1) this season, which we are proud of, but we won’t be satisfied unless we win Big 12’s and go far in the NCAA tourney.
The following Sunday, against Oklahoma, we scored a lot of goals, which is good. Although, we didn’t take care of the win, our offense was definitely in sync, which is something we worked on in practice. When it comes winning, we learned that if our opponents score three goals, then Texas needs to score four. It was a total wake up call; and we had to come out the next weekend just as hard, no matter what.
So the next week, my mind was on schoolwork. Of course, we practiced as usual but I went to class and study hall every day. We are getting close to the middle of the semester; soon finals will be here and I’ll have to be ready.
Once my school week wrapped up, I went back to thinking soccer. We left on Thursday for another Big 12 match - this time on the road in Lawrence, Kansas. We’ve done well on the road this year so our focus was to continue to do well on both sides of the ball and on other team’s fields. We need to not only win at home, but also on the road in order to be successful in each game.
Lately, I’ve been watching this television show called “Office” (Have you seen it?). It comes on television on Thursday nights but normally I’m traveling or studying late so I miss it. I’ve got the second season on DVD and am watching on the road and when I get the time at home. I am trying to catch up to Kelsey (Carpenter) and Stephanie (Gibson), who are watching as well; they are on season three, which is on television now.
Late on Thursday night (Oct. 5), we arrived in Kansas City. I thought the city would be in Kansas (hence the name) but I learned otherwise, especially after we drove by the “Welcome to Kansas” sign, 15 minutes after leaving the airport.
The first game in Lawrence was great. It was nice to play an early game (4 p.m. start time) because you have less time to get nervous. The weather was nice and cool which made it a perfect day for a great soccer match.
The Kansas crowd had the typical hecklers – nothing too intense. It’s hard not to hear the fans but we try not to let it influence the way we play. It’s exciting to hear a school going against you, then you win, which makes it is that much better. We have learned how to channel that into positive energy and win on the road.
So we left Kansas mid-afternoon on Saturday and headed to Colorado. We flew into Denver and then bussed over to Boulder for the match.
There was definitely a temperature change when we got to Colorado!! When we landed it was 70 degrees (very nice). By the time we took the field for the game, it was brutally cold – around 50 degrees. The weather in Boulder was freezing compared to Austin. I had on layers and layers during the game– a long sleeve jersey, a dry-fit shirt… but I obviously did not have enough. Normally, I warm up during my pre-game stretching and exercises but this time, I was still cold even after the game started!
Despite the chilly temperature, Boulder is definitely one of the prettiest places in the Big 12, other than Austin, of course. It was my second trip to Colorado in four years.
Coach Petrucelli tries to get there as late as possible so the altitude doesn’t have an effect on our bodies. It takes about 24 hours for the altitude to take its toll but we were only there for about 12 hours.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Boulder. The night we arrived, we watched game film from the Kansas game and clips of Colorado matches. Since we got in pretty late, I didn’t stay up too much longer after our team meeting. I watched the rest of the Tennessee-Georgia football game because I grew up watching the Bulldogs. I try to follow them when I can (and cheer a little when they are not playing UT). Our trainer Lisa Stalans is a Tennessee graduate so I gave her a hard time during the game but Tennessee ended up winning (so I will pay for it all week).
We won the game (Hook ‘Em Horns!!), which was great because the senior class (Amy Burlingham, Priscilla Fite, Carrie Schmit, Dana Hall, Karen Haight and I) have never beat CU so it was a great way to end our four years against them.
After the match was over, we showered at the football stadium and then went downtown to eat dinner before getting on the road for the airport.
I loved the restaurant where we had dinner. The coaches set it up family-style, so we had a mix of salads, spaghetti, manicotti, and chicken parmesan. The Eagles-Cowboys game was on television but I wasn’t really paying attention, just talking with my teammates and enjoying the great food.
Once dinner ended, our trip back to Austin began. We hit the highway for the airport in Denver and our non-stop flight to Texas. Some of my teammates enjoyed the Direct TV, available on the flight, but I watched more of the “Office”. By the time the plane landed and our trip was over, I finished two of the four discs. I still have two more to go, which I’ll try to get through this weekend when we travel to Nebraska.
Up next, we have a home against Sam Houston State on Friday, Oct. 13, and an away game against Nebraska in Lincoln on Sunday, Oct. 15. We have done this before (play at home on Friday and then away on Sunday) so it is not that unusual.
In my mind, I’m starting to realize that we are about to start post season play. The last games are very important because the better we do, the greater the chance we will host the opening rounds of NCAA Tournament and get to play at home. If there is a chance we can host, that would be great - I love playing in Austin!
We have a great record (thanks to my wonderful teammates and great coaching staff). It is one of the best that we’ve had since I started playing here. I’m glad that we have had a successful season; but I also know we still have more games left and more to accomplish.
That’s all for now. I’ll check in with TexasSports.com in about two weeks so until then…