Oct. 10, 2011
Only a week has gone by and I feel like so much has happen for the team. Last time I left off we were just about to go play Stanford. We had all been counting down the days until we were going to get to play them, just waiting in anticipation as to what would come of it. Because of the rich history, the rivalry, and the amount of times we play them every season there is always a different feeling when we step on the opposite side of them on the field, such a deeper meaning to the game. It isn’t a feeling that is easy to describe… but it sort of encompasses nerves, excitement, passion, and sparks an incredible desire to succeed. No matter how either of us do every season, we all bring our best to the table, and you NEVER know what the outcome will be. No matter who is “ranked” higher, any team who steps on that field could win.
So we had our usual bus ride down to the farm. When we got there Shellie read us some really inspiring words sent to us from Jeff, our team psych. It was about loving the game, loving the feeling of a Cal/Stanford big game, loving our team who is basically a second family, and loving the environment of it all… it was a list of things that we spend so much time working on, working towards, but things that we don’t always remember, or think about. Sometimes we get wrapped up in training, travel, weights, meetings, film, we don’t take a moment to stop and think about how blessed we all are and how much we actually do love it all.
After our words of wisdom we headed out to the field. People slowly began to trickle in and by the time the game started the stands were packed. I always try to just listen to our parents voices, for me it provides some relief to any nerves I get, much better then listening to the Stanford fans yelling all sorts of things. It was an amazing environment to be in; we were playing under the lights, hearing cheers going back and fourth all game, and, like the typical Cal/Stanford game, it was a battle from the start. They scored not too long after we started, then we quickly answered back. We fought until the final whistle but, sadly, it wasn’t enough. By the end we really got into a rhythm and began to play our game, as Shellie said, “if only we had 5 more minutes…” After the game there was some disappointment among the team but instead of letting the game get us too upset, we had more of a desire to learn, to move foreword, and we were all already talking about the next time we get to square off!
Such a huge game and exciting night made it pretty hard to refocus for our game Sunday. I think we were all still so fired up from it that we were not as mentally focused for our next game against UOP. We had a slow first half, were not really connecting as a unit and didn’t start with our typical intensity. Luckily, we were able to turn it around for the second half and pulled out the win. We joked in film that it was the “tale of two halves.” Every team will have a season of ups and downs; we can’t be perfect every minute of every game, but it’s really about how we are able to manage our downs and turn them around.
After the game we had our usual DELICIOUS post-game food with all the family and friends who had come up to watch. We had the night off to hang low, maybe catch up on some homework, basically had to rest up because it wouldn’t be too long before we would be off on the road again. We had practice on Tuesday, everyone was re-focused and we were all focused on the big road trip ahead…our last regular season trip of the season!
A few days later we were off to Philly, Pennsylvania, Miss. Jordan O’Reilly’s home state. The 6:30 bus ride is obviously grey, sorry no good stories, or dreams in this case. Next thing I can recall in my “grandma” mind is getting on the plane! We had a direct flight, which seemed like such a luxury and they were playing a few movies too! I was sitting by Deanna and my fellow goalie Courtney. We watched Something Borrowed, Midnight in Paris, and had some snooze time in-between. 5 hours and thirty minutes later our feet were back on the ground, welcome to PHILLY! That night we had dinner at Boca de Beppo. It was such a fun place with so much crazy stuff on the wall, along with some HUGE family style portions, definitely another meal where we all went into a food coma after. We got salad, calamari, ravioli, and pasta. My dad came a little later, so he asked if this one pasta could be made quickly. The waiter said it wouldn’t be long and literally about 5 minutes later he comes out with this HUGE bowl of pasta… we think he just stole it from another table!
Once the food was all finished I looked over and Kendra Bills had made a little face while playing with her food. I decided to join in the fun and we made about 10 different faces out of all the left over food on our plates. Then we began chatting about how fun it would be to make a website or video out of it. Foodfaces.com, we could just fill it with a bunch of faces that people had made over their leftovers. Could be a fun thing, I am sure some people could get really creative with it!
We got to the hotel and Shannon quickly got a lesson about Philly drivers. After unloading the bus, without even looking at the light she SLOWLY strolls across the street. Once she nears the other side a car that was stopped waiting for her finally honks a few times. It was only when she got to the other side did she realize no one else was going and it was definitely a green light, maybe they don’t have walk signs in Canada. We piled into the hotel and waited our big roommate announcement moment. Sadly, I was one of the first rooms called so didn’t get to see all the matchups! I once again found myself pared with one of our freshmen… GIBBY! I was excited; she is really chill and fun to give a hard time. She had a midterm the next day, so obviously was going to bug her while she tried to study.
The next day was our first game day in Philly!!! Game days are my favorite; I love putting on our gear, watching our pre-game slides, and of course getting to listen to my music before warm up. Saint Josephs had just built a new field, it was so pretty. The campus had a ton of really cute brick building and houses. We had a ton of parents come out to Philly for the games, it’s always so great to have that kind of support on the road with us. The game started out well, we came out strong and scored pretty early on. We played well but second half the other team really got pretty physical and was going all out. But we didn’t panic, stayed calm, and we came out on top with a win!
After the game the team and family members all went to a restaurant called Jones. It was a very cool place, with such good food options! After we all ate, Megan Shimo went into a little food coma and decided to have a little nap on the bench she was sitting on. Yes, she is a senior, might have been having a senior moment. So while she was napping she fell into a pretty deep sleep, among the loud chatters of our big group of people. Even when we all got up to leave, she was still sound asleep. Once again, being the jokester we are, we decided to mess with her a little. One of the girls put her phone right by her head, than we all cleared out… except for Shellie who planted in a seat right across from her. We all stood close watching as she woke in a haze to find everyone around her gone except for Shellie. Now, we love Shellie, but waking up to her like that probably isn’t the most comforting thing. Shimo soon saw us all gathered around and we all had a good laugh.
That night we were all pretty pooped. Before we got off the bus Shellie reminded us to be in our own rooms at a certain time and to not sneak out. We all joked about it, not too sure where we would go and we are all DEFINTELY way too exhausted at that point in the trip to even think about doing anything remotely close to that. Gibby and I headed to our room with our hot cocoa in hand (the hotel had free hot cocoa and tea out at all time, so great!). She studied a little with one of the other freshmen, as for me I immediately tuned into Vampire Diaries, one of the teams’ fav shows. It was another fantastic episode, but it was not as fun to watch it alone. After the episode I was pretty excited about how good it was… so went out on a limb and decided I would tweet about the show and tweet AT one of the stud vampire actors on it. I chatted about the tweet with Nikki and Gibby, made sure everything was perfect. I think it was something along the lines of “cal field hockey is obsessed” looking back I can understand why he didn’t tweet me back, but hey at least I tried. So after all that excitement we went to bed and rested up for our off day!
The second half of the trip is really fun and exciting, we did a TON of stuff, so am going to leave you all with a little cliffhanger! Don’t worry, you will hear SOON about the rest of the trip and our rainy return back to Berkeley!