Senior goalkeeper Maddie Hand will be writing a season-long blog about the life of a field hockey player. Check out her first installment of "Mads About Bears".
Sept. 23, 2011
FINALLY, we have our home opening weekend! After being on the road we were all so excited to be able to play back on our home turf; it was going to be a HUGE weekend with Northeastern, Indiana, and a parent’s brunch. With the tough competition ahead of us we knew we couldn’t get too distracted by all the family members coming into town!
We did our usual pre-game ritual, a little dinner and film to help study up on our opponents. Then we had a long Friday before our night game. I do love playing at night, but at the same time it is really hard to figure out what to do all day. I always end up getting ready way to early, it’s hard to think about anything else! But after walking around and being distracted by my mom, it was finally game time. We had a great turn out and some fun fans there to cheer us on. We all felt the amazing support; a lot of our families had come in for the weekend. It was an intense game with some pretty great hockey moments. I think the highlight was when things got pretty messy in our defense and Allie found herself standing on the goal line as they tried to get the ball into the goal and she just held it with her feet, stood strong. She was not going to let that ball in! Not too sure what I was doing… but better to have a stroke then a goal! We ended up winning 4-2 and a win at home is always more fun because we can celebrate at the potluck after the game. Saturday things settled down and we all got ourselves ready to move on to the next challenge on Sunday. We had yet to be defeated, so it was very important to learn from the game before and move forward. Sunday morning all the family members in town came together to mingle at the Bancroft Hotel for a little pre-game breakfast. It’s always funny to see the families come in, and it’s always so easy to tell who is related. After a fun morning, it was once game time once again! Thankfully it was a noon game so I didn’t have to sit around all day. We had great support with former teammates, alumni, Jeff (our sports psych), family, and even Sandy Barbour came out! We ended up winning 3-1 to keep our winning streak alive! Was a really fun home opening weekend that was make so much better with the immense amount of support we had at our games!
Before things could calm down too much we took off to Chicago! Unfortunately, we went back to our usual 4:30 A.M. leave time in order to catch our 6:30 flight. Now, personally I can hardly even remember the bus ride, or even getting through security, like most people my mind at 5 am is pretty foggy! BUT, one thing I do remember, mainly because I was in shock at the sight was seeing 3 or 4 people on our team sitting at the gate at 5 in the morning DOING HOMEWORK. WOOOOOW. I didn’t know if I should be appalled, or proud. But I do know I have a ton of very hard working teammates, maybe one of the reasons we usually have one of the highest GPA’s our of all the sports at Cal!
I’m pretty sure I slept the whole flight because after getting in my seat next thing I know we are landing in Chicago! Sadly I wasn’t awoken by the flight attendant saying we were safe on the ground, I was quickly awoken by some pretty rough bumps in the sky. For some odd reason we have been lucky enough to get some pretty wild landings and plane rides on our trips. Personally, I am a nervous wreck when I fly. But this time we decided to pretend we were on a roller coaster in an attempt to make it a little more lighthearted and fun. Once safe on the ground we rounded up our bags, and headed to our hotel!
The moment we all love… the roommate announcements! Not going to brag, but I am pretty darn good at guessing my roommates. Yes, this time was no exception. Caroline, aka waffles our Belgium, would be stuck with me. I felt bad because she definitely was talking about how much work she had… and I, being a 5th year senior, have absolutely nothing to do. I did offer a helping hand; unfortunately physics isn’t one of my strong suits. So instead I was there to entertain when she needed a break from the work!
After getting settled we headed out for some classic Chicago style pizza. Talk about carbo overload. This place was family style and Shellie had pre-ordered some food for all of us. So started out with a nice salad, then it progressed to a couple deep-dish pizza’s for every table. That would be a normal meal… but the cal field hockey team was JUST getting started on this dinner! Next came two types of pasta, one with meat sauce, one with tomato sauce. And don’t worry people it didn’t end there either. The last dish we were served was some delicious chicken Marcela. You would think we would all be completely stuffed and in need of a lift to get us to the bus… but when served some ice cream to top of the night all the sudden our belly’s had plenty of room for more! The greatest part of the dinner came when the chicken was brought out. Being a good teammate Rachelle Cameau was trying to serve a piece of chicken. Right when she was brining it over to the other plate the chicken takes a dive into the jug of water. Not only was it bad enough that it fell into the water, but the waiters took just about everything off our table except that nasty pitcher of chicken water. It was hysterical! Great first night dinner in a fun city!
The next day we had our game against Northwestern. The field was right on the lake, was a beautiful location. During our warm up coach Jill and I were talking about how we felt like there was a weird energy, it didn’t seem like our normal warm up. The game started and we all were a little slow to start, were facing a mental battle. Unfortunately, we couldn’t switch it around in time. Northwestern capitalized on some key moments and were able to pull ahead 2-0 at half. By second half we were playing more like ourselves, but it wasn’t enough to even the score. We suffered our first loss of the season. After the game we all came together as a group, talked about what happened and why we had such a slow start. We made note of our mistakes, and were able to flush out the game in order to prepare for our game the next day.
That night we went to dinner at the Cheesecake factory at a nearby mall. Shellie had stayed back to go over film and Jill also stayed back because she was getting pretty sick. So it was the kids, the families, and Caitlyn. It was a delicious dinner and yes we of course tried some cheesecake! I ended up playing with Erin’s little cousins the majority of the time, got in touch with my kid side and ended up collecting straws and connecting them all to poke people with, so mature! After we had eaten our hearts out we said bye to the family that was there and hopped back on the bus. Being the pranksters we are, we decided to mess with Caitlyn, since she was the only “adult” with us. Before she got on the bus we hid Caroline in the back of the bus and told the team to act like she wasn’t on the bus, but not say anything until we got the hotel. Cait asked for a buddy check and we all said our buddies were there. Once we got to the hotel someone said, “wait, where is Caroline?” We all acted clueless as to where she was. Kruggs (who has her moments of forgetfulness) acted out that she totally forgot Caroline said she was going to the bathroom; she acted really concerned about it… I must say the girl can act! Cait began to get mad and really worried, “wait guys, seriously, is she not here? Did we lose Caroline? SHE ISN”T HERE!” Then we broke the news we were messing with her, she was very happy with us...as you could imagine!
The next day we had the same routine as the day before. We were all ready to go out and play and erase the mistakes from the game against Northwestern. UVA was another very exciting match up. Although we were down at times we never had frantic moments where we thought we were going to lose again. It came down to the wire; they scored with about 5 minutes left, putting them ahead 3-2. With 45 seconds left we got a corner and Andrea slammed it in to tie it up! In overtime it only took about 3 minutes for Lara Kruggs to score and win the game! It was a very fun game and I realized how much I loved playing with that team. Being able to feed off each other’s confidence is infectious, and it definitely drives me to perform better. It was a very fun win that was celebrated with a little beach time and some brave soles even made their way into the lake! It was great to just enjoy where we were for a little.
We then cleaned up and headed into Chicago! Last time we were here there was some shopping damage done. It is such a beautiful fun city, with some amazing buildings! After a few hours of shopping and walking around we all made our way back together to have some dinner at a restaurant downtown. Claire and I dined with our dads who just think they are so funny! Claire’s dad ordered her some meat balls and talked about how much she loved them as a kid, don’t worry the moment was documented! It was so nice to sit and have that kind of time with family on a trip! Was a delicious meal surrounded by some good people!
The next day was our 7 hour road trip… we were all THRILLED, to say the least. The trip started off with an inspiring movie on the Olympics, it was actually really interesting. I definitely had no idea that fencing was in the Olympics, or how intense it is. Some people did homework, some of us watched some clips of us in the game against UVA, and some people watched the movie. Somehow we were all able to entertain ourselves until we made it to Ohio. We went right to practice, which was pretty nice since we had been stuck on a bus all day. The field was nice, but it was so quiet and there was not too much around which was a big change from our busy field! Then, highlight of Ohio was our dinner at Guacamoles! There was not too much around, so this colorful Mexican restaurant was the best bet, and they didn’t even need us to make a reservation! It was a fun dinner filled with GIANT burritos, some Velvita cheese melted over the nachos, and Stacy was decorated in a sombrero and sung happy birthday to in Spanish! A very spirited place.
We finally got to the hotel and were going to get new roomies!!!! I was with our freshman Nikki and we got really lucky and had a joined room with Kendra and Jordy. Too bad it was only for one night because I always get SO excited when I get a connecting room. The next day we packed everything up and headed to the field. It was pretty gray out, but we definitely had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. During the game it began to downpour. Everyone was soaking wet, the ball speed was really slow, and we of course didn’t pack our rain gear! So, I think it’s safe to say none of us are really the biggest fans of Kent Ohio!
After the game we showered and headed out to the airport. Poor Kruggs had to get her bag checked by security at least two times (love our foreigners). Then Rachelle was called over the loudspeaker for losing her boarding pass; getting 25 girls on a plane safety is never an easy task. On the flight I was sitting with Shannon and Kendra. Kendra, bless her little heart, told a few great stories, one of which took SO long to tell and was just not a good story. But the other story was pretty entertaining about how she was flying alone when she was 12 and her flight had to be redirected to Vegas and she had to figure out a way to stay the night until she could get on the next flight. Then I exposed Shannon to a show called Vampire Diaries, didn’t take too long to get her hooked! Parents, I want to apologize now for maybe distracting your daughters from their studies… but it is a really good show that they all should watch! So, instead of doing her homework Shannon and I watched episodes until we landed back in California. We also had a layover in Vegas, but there really isn’t too much damage that can be done in 30 minutes… but Jill and I did put a few dollars in some slots.
All and all it has been another few exciting weeks in Cal Field Hockey! This week we are getting all geared up for our match against Stanford! Big Game round 1. GO BEARS!