Blog Date With Kate - a Cal Women's Soccer Blog


Feb. 17, 2011

Hey Berkeley Bears!

It's been a while since we have last caught up. Since my last blog date, we have had winter break and have started spring training. Though it was sad to be done with season, I think we all needed a little break from school and soccer.

Over the break I had time to go back to Seattle and catch up with family and friends. During the last week of break, I found myself doing roughly the same things everyday...Wake up, watch a movie, bake something with my mom, and hope I would get back to Berkeley sooner. Being gone for close to a month made me realize how much fun Berkeley is. It was great seeing old friends, but I missed my new ones, and the new opportunities awaiting me in the spring semester back in Berkeley.

Once we returned from break, we had about a week or two getting our classes settled before we started training for soccer. Though I liked my classes from last semester, I am more happy with the ones I am taking now. This semester I am taking psychology, wildlife ecology, Spanish, a political science lecture, and a DeCal. DeCals are great! It's a student-run democratic education program where students teach 1-3 unit class about anything they want. I am taking the TeaCal with Mekenna DeBack, and we are learning about the history of tea, while drinking all different types.

As far as training goes, for the last few weeks, we have been working with our weight coach, Dave Ziemba, in the weight room on Mondays and Fridays, and doing running exercises with him on Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have been playing small sided games for hour each day. This week marks the start of when the NCAA allows us to play more soccer, so we are playing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.

I am happy to be able to play more now. That is what I missed about the past couple weeks and that we were only allowed two hours of soccer with the team and with Neil, which I thought was not enough time playing soccer!

Not much else is new right now. I'm just taking each day as it comes. We are staying busy and trying to focus on school work when we are not playing and working out. Until next time! Thanks for reading my blog and go Bears!


Nov. 3, 2010

Hey everyone!

It's been a while since we last checked in! We are nearing the end of our regular season with two games left in the Pac-10 schedule. It is crazy to think that it's already November!

Last weekend we only had one game, but it was a big one. We played Stanford, which has consistently been a great team and has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for the past couple of weeks.

I don't think I've felt as excited the whole season as I did before the Stanford game, and I'm pretty sure everyone felt the same way, too. Stanford was a great team and they won, 3-0. The loss stung a bit, but we had to cheer up quickly because we were hosting a clinic for local kids right after the game.

It was nice to only have one game that weekend because we got Sunday and Monday off from practice. Then it was back to the normal routine on Tuesday. As the season nears the end, a lot of us are mentally and physically fatigued, but none of us want to see the end this weekend. We want to make the NCAA Tournament! It looks like we have to win both or win one and tie the other to make the playoffs. That is a little nerve wracking, but it has helped us push harder in practice.

School has been going well, midterms are in full swing. I have found that procrastination has caught up to me, which have called for some stressful nights, but that's college, right? Not much else is new here other than all the things I just told you about. We play Oregon and Oregon State this weekend and my parents are coming down to watch! The Oregon game is Friday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. and OSU is Sunday, Nov. 7 at noon, and both are free, so come on out! Have a great week!

Thanks for reading!

Go Bears!


Oct. 12, 2010

Hey Everyone!

This week started as most weeks do - day off on Monday, weights and practice on Tuesday and practice Wednesday. The only different thing about this week was the knowledge that the first road trip was coming up and not everyone would be allowed to go. This made things a lot more stressful, s if there wasn't enough stress to go around as a student-student balancing school and sports.

After practice Wednesday, head coach Neil McGuire sat us down and announced the travelling team, and I made it! I honestly thought it could go either way, but I was so excited to hear my name called! It was a big weekend since we were playing UCLA on Friday and USC on Sunday in the Pac-10 opening games.

On Thursday, we had practice at 9:30 a.m. for about an hour going over set plays and doing some ball work to keep sharp. After about an hour, we had until 12:30 to pack and be ready to board the bus for the airport. I probably should have allotted more time to packing because I was running around like crazy, throwing things in my suitcase right before we needed to leave! The flight took about 50 minutes and it felt like no time at all. We landed, got to our hotel and boarded a bus for California Pizza Kitchen, where we had a nice team dinner. I am a fan of dorm food, but it was so great to be taken out for dinner!

On Friday, we ate breakfast at 9 a.m., went for a light jog and stretch to get our legs moving then left for lunch at Panera. After lunch, we went back to the hotel and had a team meeting about the game, then had some time to ourselves before we left for our pregame meal at CPK.

After returning to the hotel and grabbing our things, we boarded the bus for UCLA! It was such a good game. We started a little slow, but once we got goin', we got goin'! Everyone was working so hard, and we were right there with them until the end. UCLA had some great talent and we were all disappointed when they scored towards the end of the second half. The Bruins, who were ranked 13th in the nation, ended up winning, 1-0.

On Saturday, we woke up, ate and headed out for practice at USC. One of the great things about travelling is that we get to see different campuses. Both UCLA and USC look like great schools, but nothing can compare to good ol' Berkeley. Although I've only been here for a few months, I look at it as my home! We had a light practice and returned to the hotel, where we were set free for the afternoon to visit with family and friends and do what we wanted.

It was a great day, as I got to catch up with a friend from home who goes to UCLA. We watched the Cal-UCLA football game and walked around the nearby mall. After family time, we went for a team dinner at the Cheesecake Factory for another great meal! With bellies full, we bussed back to the hotel and watched the movie "Eclipse" in [Katie] Suits and Emi Lawson's room.

Sunday! Game day! We woke up, ate, jogged a bit, had a team talk, packed and left for USC. This game was nuts! They scored two goals in the first few minutes. We were shocked and in disbelief that something like that could happen. USC looked on top of its game and none of its passes went astray. Those goals were our wake-up call, and after that, we managed to come back to tie the game, 2-2.

They scored to make it, 3-2, then we scored and tied it at 3-3. Then we scored again in the last two minutes to make it 4-3, and we were beating USC! We all thought we had it and were ecstatic! In the last minute of play they scored. We were not happy. The game ended in a 4-4 tie and we went straight into overtime. Only about a minute in, they scored on a free kick at the top of the box, ending the game in a 5-4 defeat. None of us could believe it. We fought so hard to come back into the game to lose on a free kick. Although we lost, we all thought it was one of the best performances that we had played as a team thus far

After the game, we left L.A. for Berkeley. Even though we lost both games, I had a great time and it was awesome playing against two great teams. It was a nice change of scenery, we got some great meals and we survived our first road trip of the season. This week we play UW and WSU from my home state! Have to show up big time!

Until next time!


Sept. 30, 2010

Hey everyone!

Last week was a bit different with our game schedule because we only had one game, against Portland, and it was on a Thursday. We were so excited to play the Pilots. They were ranked third in the nation and have had a great reputation in soccer for a long time. Portland was a very good team.

We were all so excited when we scored in the first half! It was awesome to see that we could compete with a team like Portland. Though we were up in the first half, they scored three goals in the second half to win the game, 3-1. I don't think I've seen a team like them yet that possesses the ball and passes so well. We were all pretty frustrated as this was our first loss of the season, and to know that we had the game at one point and they came back to win it. I guess that's what makes soccer so crazy! It's not over until the final whistle blows.

After our game on Thursday, our coaches gave us Friday, Saturday, and Monday off, as they realized that we might need a mental and physical break before conference starts next week. With the time off, I got the chance to catch up with friends from home on Friday, spending the day in nearby Moraga.

On Saturday, a handful of us on the soccer team and members from Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) went to the marina for a community beach clean up. We spent the morning picking up trash and enjoying the sunshine. You can read more about that here. After volunteering I went to the Clark Kerr pool and swam a bit, and then we went out and celebrated our teammate Carli Haasbroek's birthday!

Sunday was the day I realized that I had a lot of work I should have done earlier! I spent most of the morning and afternoon with Mckenna McKetty studying at the Beanery on College Avenue. From there we went to practice, dinner and just hung out. Monday started a new week of classes and another week in preparation for a weekend game.

We play Saint Mary's this week on our first away game! We've been practicing, studying, and finding time for the occasional game of soccer tennis against the freshmen men's soccer players.

Until our next date! Thanks for reading!


Sept. 17, 2010

Hello again!

Here on campus, we have started to get into a regular routine, and it's now starting to sink in that we are in college. It became a reality once the first couple assignments were due.

I have found it a little bit stressful figuring out when homework is do, and when to complete them because some classes only meet once a week and others are more frequent. But for the most part I think I've been doing the right things...I hope!

Though school has started to take up a lot of our time, there has still been time for fun. Last Friday we didn't have a game, so a group of us bought tickets to see Ray Lamontagne and David Gray at the Greek Theatre. I had such a great time going with the girls and it was my first time inside the Greek theatre. I didn't know the artists too well, but they were both great performers, and now I'm a new fan of them both. We went in the evening, and from our spot on the grass of the theatre we could see the Campanile and a view of San Francisco. It was another instance when I realized how happy I am to be at Cal!

On Sunday we played Long Beach State. We played a great game, winning 6-0. None of us knew what to expect from them because Cal had not played the 49ers since 2001. They had done some damage against other good teams, but we got the W!

On Monday, we had the day to ourselves for classes and just for catching up on little odds and ends. This week at practice, we have just been sharpening up for the games, doing homework, hanging out, and going to study hours. We play San Francisco at 1 p.m. on Friday and take on Pacific at 1 p.m. on Sunday. These are our last few games before conference and are free so come on down to Edwards Stadium!

Until our next date!


Sept. 2, 2010

Hello again! I'm excited for our third blog date together!

I thought we couldn't get busier....then classes started. The first day of class was last Thursday and it has been weird transitioning into school. I feel like I haven't used my brain in almost two months, but I'm excited about classes and getting to know more people outside soccer.

The first day of school, I had two classes - environmental English and a peace and conflict class. Both seem like interesting classes, but because it was the first day, we just went over the syllabus, and it was a little dry. Both classes had close to 100 people, and the professors seemed very animated. The whole campus was packed with students! It's such a change from a month ago during preseason when there wasn't any traffic and you didn't have to wait in lines for food at the dorm cafeterias.

After our first day of class it was time to play Santa Clara on Friday. This was probably our biggest game to date because they are a great team, and because we have a bit of a rivalry with them.

I can't get over how much fun college soccer games are. They are intense, and everyone on the team is really committed so it is fun to be in that kind of atmosphere, we also had a lot of fans there to support us. Thank you to whoever went! I was bouncing off the walls excited! We ended up tying Santa Clara, 0-0, in double overtime. We were all a bit disappointed, but at least we didn't lose.

Over the weekend, we had a few days off. It was nice to relax and not have a schedule for the day. We all just did our own thing and had some team bonding activities and then it was time for class again on Monday! Mondays are my busy days! We have practice off so there is more time for class.

On Monday, I had environmental English, nutritional science, a media seminar and education class that's designed for freshmen student-athletes. It was a long day, but it was pretty good, and I knew a few people in each class. I think I'm most excited about my media seminar. There are only about 10 people in the class, and the professor is very cool. In this class we are expected to keep up with current events, and there seem to be some assignments that are not too stressful. We are just settling into a solid routine and loving it in Berkeley!

This week we play Rice and Hawaii in the four-game Cal Invitational! None of the players on the team have ever played Ricer of Hawaii so it should be a little bit different than last week when all the returners had already seen Santa Clara in years past. We play Rice on Friday, Sept. 3 at about 4 p.m., 30 minutes after San Francisco plays Hawaii. On Sunday, we get Hawaii at 3 p.m., a half hour after USF and Rice play. All of the games are at Edwards and free so come on down! I'll catch up with you soon! Go Bears!

Thanks for reading! I look forward to our next blog date in a few weeks!


Aug. 26, 2010

Hey everyone! I'm excited for our second date...our second blog date that is!

It's been such a busy week here. We had our first two games last weekend. We kicked off our season on Friday against LMU and we won, 2-1! We played UC Irvine on Sunday and tied, 2-2. We were all a little unhappy with the tie, but it's better than a loss. It was not only a fun weekend because we played our first collegiate games, but also because my parents were in town. We freshmen also finally moved into the dorms on the Clark Kerr campus.

My parents flew in from Washington last week to watch games and to help me get situated into my room. It was really nice to see them after being away from home for a couple weeks with preseason training. I was able to spend a lot of time with my parents because classes hadn't started yet and we only have one practice a day now that preseason is over. We got a chance to go to San Francisco together, and of course, we made a few trips to Yogurt land.

After the game on Sunday, there was a potluck where we all got together and met everyone's families who were at the game. Shortly after the potluck, we went back to our dorms and unpacked everything we had been keeping in our suitcases during preseason training, and we also met our roommates! We are in a double suite and my immediate roommate is teammate Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick.

I'm living on the Clark Kerr campus, which is located southeast of the main campus. The Kerr is huge! And it is extremely nice. There are about 17 buildings, and it takes a while just to get to the other side of the dorm complex. Kaitlyn, Grace Leer, Kathleen Messinger and I are all in the same building. There are eight other girls on the team who are in two separate buildings, so we don't see them around as much as we did when we were living in the houses of the upperclassmen during preseason.

After a jam-packed weekend, we had Monday off to do as we pleased. We got to sleep in a little bit, which was nice. I went and ordered books for classes, which are starting on Thursday. A handful of us played a pick-up soccer game on one of the field hockey fields. It was really nice to have a day off to rest, both mentally and physically.

On Tuesday, it was time to get back to business in order to prepare for our game against Santa Clara on Friday! We started in the weight room at 8 a.m. and then had practice immediately following. This week has been extremely hot so in the afternoon a bunch of us went to hang out at the pool! I'm excited for our game this week, and for classes to start, as well! Everything is starting so soon! I look forward to our next blog date!

Thanks for reading!


Aug. 19, 2010

Hi Bear fans! Welcome to our first Blog Date With Kate! I'm Kate Bennett, a freshman midfielder on the California women's soccer team. I'll be writing this blog all season long to keep you apprised of all our Bear happenings as well as what it's like to be a freshman at the University of California.

It's weird to think that I live in Berkeley now. All the anticipation leading up to this point has created so much excitement for everyone! Coming into the season, I was extremely excited, but I was also nervous because I wasn't sure what to expect from the trainings and I wasn't sure how I would measure up. So far, all the practices have helped us get our nerves out and get to know the older players better.

For the first couple weeks of preseason, we had double days almost every day and meetings about compliance, classes and psychology. There wasn't much time to think about much else but soccer. Though we had a busy schedule, we found time to go to San Francisco, meet other people, explore and go to the movies.

So far I would characterize Berkeley as fun, delicious and amazing! Berkeley is fun because there are so many things to do here - from climbing trees on campus to going out to eat - there have been very few occasions that have allowed for boredom! Berkeley is amazing because I have met a lot of cool people so far, it provides a great education. Also, for us student-athletes, it provides unlimited resources.

Berkeley is delicious because of Yogurtland! I am a native Washingtonian, and I don't think I've ever met an ice cream or frozen yogurt that I haven't liked. I had never been to Yogurtland before coming here, but I have quickly become an addict. Yogurtland isn't the only place to go, there is so much more, and so much I have yet to discover.

After lots of trainings and debriefings, we played Fresno State for our first game! We put on our yellow jerseys for the first time and prepared for battle. I was so pumped up it was insane. The game was one of the most fun and rewarding games. We had worked so hard through preseason, and it was great for us to get the win! Almost immediately after the game we left for a team retreat to Santa Cruz.

In Santa Cruz, we went to the Boardwalk, where we rode roller coasters, before going out for a nice dinner. We freshmen prepared a skit for the team, and did a lot of team bonding. Before we knew it, it was time to go back to Berkeley.

This week we have been preparing for our game against LMU on Friday and then Irvine on Sunday. We're also getting ready for school to start next week!

I will report back soon! I look forward to our next blog date!