A CalBears.com Blog by Mekenna DeBack
Oct. 10, 2011
We played University of Washington and Washington State more than a week ago, tying the first game 1-1 and losing to Washington State 2-0. It was a rough weekend, however we bounced back and tied UCLA, 0-0, and beat USC 2-0.
Our trip to Washington started off well with beautiful weather and a delicious pregame meal at the Bennett's house. We made our way to the University of Washington's soccer field, warmed up under the lights and played a great game with an end result of a 1-1 tie after double overtime. Next we traveled for nearly six hours by bus to Pullman, Washington. Unfortunately, we were down 2-0 against Washington State in the second half even though we started off strong in the beginning. We weren't able to come home with a win. We learned valuable lessons from both games and identified what needed to be worked on in practice that coming week. Keeping our heads up, looking forward and already preparing for next weekend we headed to the Pullman airport. After waiting in the unusually small airport about the size of MacDonald's our plane landed. Just our luck, our plane was the only one at the airport that was having technical difficulties and a mechanic was on its way. So after two more hours we were told that the plane was not safe enough to fly and that we could wait until the next morning for another flight. The coaches ended up coming up with a plan for us to get home as soon as possible because more than half of us had midterms the next day that we couldn't miss. We were given four rental cars and thirteen rooms at a hotel near the Seattle airport. We were in the car for four hours and to add to our unfortunate dilemma one of the cars hit a coyote, breaking the bumper and scaring everyone. We arrived at the hotel around one-thirty in the morning, took an hour and a half nap and then headed to the Seattle airport for our departing flight at six in the morning. The plane arrived at 8 a.m.in Oakland and we were dropped off in Berkeley at 9 a.m., just in time for midterms. It was a very interesting weekend that was for sure.
After catching up on sleep and rest, we had a couple awesome practices preparing for the UCLA and USC games. Last Friday we played No. 2 UCLA in front of 600 fans with a scoreless draw. The game went very well, our defense did an amazing job keeping the shutout and our offense created many opportunities. We are looking for that one goal that sparks the fire and that was the difference between Fridays match and Sundays. On Sunday we had two amazing goals that gave us that 2-0 win against USC and taste of victory. We had a small drought with scoring goals after Katie Benz's injury but now we are back on track and excited for the upcoming game against Arizona State.
In the past week I learned how to golf, make cookie dough in three minutes, decorate my house with Halloween decorations, take a midterm, and make a YouTube video as a homework assignment for my Sociology 167 class. I saw my grandparents on my mom and dad's side after my games this weekend, went to the movie drive with my boyfriend, and went out to my favorite sushi restaurant with one of my close friends from high school.
A couple days ago, my two close friends and I had a craving for cookie dough. Do you ever just want to make chocolate chip cookie dough just to eat the dough? Well we made chocolate chip cookie dough in three minutes and it was so good! Ha-ha you can never bake something in our house or it will literally be gone in less than five minutes. We made cookie dough really fast so no one could catch us, so sneaky! That night we decorated our house with some Halloween decorations my housemate's mom sent to her and my close friend and I went out to Joshu-ya's for sushi. My neighbor took my friend and I to the golfe range at Tilden Park. It was my first time golfing and I was so nervous. After many swings and misses and a lot of laughs I finally got the hold of it. I had a great time and after a couple more trips to the driving range I will take my dad's offer to go golfing with him and my brother. I had so much fun and I am excited to practice again this weekend!
I have had a busy couple of weeks and I am looking forward to this Friday's game! I will blog again soon, thank you for reading!
Sept. 26, 2011
About two weeks ago we traveled to Long Beach by bus on a Thursday afternoon arriving at the hotel around 10 p.m. This was my first bus ride down to Southern California and wow it was a long one. Most of us brought homework, books, or computers to watch movies on. We stopped a couple times to stretch our legs and get a quick dinner. After our first and only night in the hotel we had a delicious breakfast and took a walk along the streets as a team. Before we knew it, it was time to go to Katie Suits, house which happened to be five minutes away from Long Beach State. Her parents were so nice to supply lunch and their home to a group of 21 hungry girls. After a couple hours of resting our bodies and filling our tummies we were off to the field.
The game against Long Beach State was a tough one. They had fans that were constantly making noise, making it hard to hear each other on the field. It was a physical game, but we were able to overcome the challenges and score two goals giving us the 2-0 victory. It was tough traveling that far, but very rewarding to the team to leave with a shutout. We got back on the bus satisfied with our win and drove back to Berkeley, arriving at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The ride back went by a lot faster because most of us slept the whole way. We were given Saturday off so I unpacked, relaxed and caught up on homework.
School has been going well, however I have my first two midterms next week and I have been working on my first Film r1a essay that will be due soon. Last weekend, I went to my brother's high school football game in San Marin and had dinner with my grandparents. Unfortunately my brother's team lost but my brother was in great spirits and I was happy to see me which always makes the trip worthwhile My grandparents live a mile away from San Marin High School so after the game we went over to have a wonderful dinner and catch up. I love seeing my family so whenever I get the chance I try my best to make it to make it whatever event or birthday party.
I watched the Cal women's volleyball team beat Stanford and the Cal men's soccer team play Santa Clara. I try to support other sports whenever I can and it is so much fun to learn about a different sport and someone else's passion. Speaking of passion, my neighbor, Angie is one of the best cooks I know. My good friends Kate and Megan wanted to have a "family dinner" so we got together, went to the market and cooked up a storm. Kate, Megan, Angie and I made caprese salad, bruschetta, chicken and stuffed pesto mozzarella portabella mushrooms. It was the best homemade dinner I have ever had here and we had so much fun making it. It was so nice spending time with my close friends in the kitchen making a wonderful meal. It makes me appreciate them even more. We were so satisfied and so full when the night was over and I can't wait to do it again.
Last weekend, we played San Francisco away and earned a 6-1 victory, improving our record to 7-1, and moving us up in rankings to 17th. We played very strong offensively and became a threat, something we have been working on in practice that showed greatly on the field. Six individual players scored and we were able to keep our rhythm and intensity going throughout the match. This game was enjoyable to play in and watch and I am proud of the team for putting to use what we have been learning in practice. We are happy with our results and now must look forward and prepare for our next game.
Pac-12 starts now! Please come and cheer for the BEARS!!!
Talk to you soon and thank you for reading,
Sept. 6, 2011
So some of you know that we traveled to Hawaii last Thursday and beat Rainbow Wahine and North Dakota to win the tournament, but not all of you know what we did off the soccer field!
Packing my bags the night before thinking about how awesome it was that we were going to be in Hawaii for three days and playing the sport we all love so much was very exciting. We knew that business came first though. After our first win against North Dakota, we had time to explore Honolulu the next day. We had practice in the morning and then came back to get ready for a fun time at Halona Beach Cove. We all rented snorkeling gear and curiously explored the reefs in the luke-warm ocean. The water was bright blue and so clear, we saw a turtle and many beautiful tropical fish along the reefs. Personally, I could go snorkeling for hours; it is my favorite thing to do when I go somewhere tropical. We knew we couldn't be in the sun for too long so after a couple hours of snorkeling, playing in the ocean and lying down under the sun on the beach we headed back to our hotel to get ready for a delicious dinner at Dukes.
Dukes is a restaurant right next to the beach with an amazing view of the ocean and sunset. There was a great band playing while we were having dinner and I was able to sit with my dad and grandpa who flew all the way to Hawaii to support us as well as make a mini vacation out of it. After an excellent dinner, we walked out to the beach and watched the sun set taking in the beauty and wonderful day we just had. My dad and I walked around International Market and enjoyed our time together wondering the busy streets until it was time to go back to the hotel and get some sleep for our big game ahead against Rainbow Wahine.
After breakfast, the coaches surprised us with free time to walk around or go to the beach one last time before we started getting ready for our game. I walked to the beach and took in the unbelievable sight of palm trees shading the beach, the velvety soft sand between my toes and a smell of the ocean. I walked along the beach with the water up to my knees. I was still amazed at how warm it was and wished I could jump in. After leaving the beach, I went to the very popular ABC Store which happens to be at every corner and bought some chocolate macadamia nuts to bring home. Finally, it was time to pack my bags and get ready for the game! We had our pregame meal, loaded up our luggage and headed off to the stadium.
The game started off slow, however we picked up our intensity and possession, moving the ball around eventually creating two more awesome goals. There was a very loud and passionate crowd of Hawaiian fans making it hard to become calm and composed at first. We played a little frantic in the beginning but eventually settled in and were able to perform. It is unbelievable to see that many people cheering at one of our games, frankly I am not used to it and we hope as a Cal team to bring in fans to make an exciting and enjoyable environment like the one the Hawaiians created to pump up their home team. The game ended on a good note with 21 girls smiling and hugging and holding up the No Ka Oi tournament trophy with the Cal and California flag.
Our day wasn't over yet! We had dinner at the field, showered and got in the vans to go the airport for our red eye flight home. Twenty-one tired girls slept the whole flight home and were awoken by the pilot's voice that we had landed, at 6:30 a.m., in the San Francisco airport. We took a bus back to Berkeley arriving at 8 a.m. just in time for some of the girls to go to class. Although we were exhausted, this trip to Hawaii will always be remembered. We did a great job taking care of business and had a whole lot of fun when we could.
The first week of school was pretty stressful, but with the wonderful help from my counselor I was able to finalize my schedule and get all of my books. I am taking a Sociology of Culture class, film class, Public Health and a Sociology Virtual Communities and Social Media class. I am excited for this semester and what all of these classes have in store as I pursue my major of Media Studies.
We hosted the 17th annual Cal Invitational on Sept 2nd and 4th. Kent State made the trip to play us on Friday ending up in a 5-1 win for us. We started off not playing our game and knew something had to change. We took it among ourselves to make that change and in the second half we did not let down, scoring four more goals. After the win against Kent State, we prepared for the game on Sunday against Denver. We knew this game was going to be tough and in the first half we were well matched. Denver scored early and they were keeping our defense on their toes. After making some adjustments in the second half, we attacked Denver with the drive to score. Katie Benz scored three outstanding goals and we Lauren Battung had a great finish, which gave us a 4-1 lead. When the game was over, you couldn't help but notice the smiles on everyone's faces after another win and a well-deserved trophy. I am very proud of the team for working so hard and as you can see it is paying off with two championships and a 5-1 record. GO BEARS!
Thank you for reading. I look forward to our next blog date!!
Aug. 25, 2011
I'm Mekenna deBack, a sophomore forward on the California women's soccer team. I grew up not so far away from this school, cheering on the women's soccer team. Now, I'm so lucky to be a Golden Bear. I will be updating you every week or so about how I live like a Bear and what it is like to go to one of the best universities in the nation, UC Berkeley.
Having a year under my belt, I feel much more comfortable walking around campus and the city of Berkeley. I have met so many wonderful people here and every day is a new exciting experience. There are so many places to go eat and see, such as, San Francisco, "The Top of the World," Tilden Park and many more! I just went out to dinner with my best friend and her mom, who came up with this wonderful idea of making a list of things to do while going to school and living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I highly recommend doing this!
I am so happy to be back in Berkeley! Moving into my new place took a while, but it was all worth it when I finally stayed my first night with a household of 10 girls - all great friends I made from last year. We live in a prime location on College Avenue - near a laundromat, café, salon and small grocery store. Plus, it's only a short walk to campus and all three of our soccer fields. My neighbors are a part of the group of good friends I made at Clark Kerr, which is awesome! We have family dinners and movie nights. It is so nice to come home to a house full of amazing girls who are so supportive and caring.
I live with five field hockey players, one softball player and two other soccer players. Since we are all on our own schedule because of our sport, the house is never crowded. One team is either at practice or a team meeting, and once schools starts everyone will be in and out throughout the day. As a house, we want to all support each other so we try and make it to as many games as possible and cheer each other on. We also like to play really funny jokes on each other. We have a garden gnome that we hide in random places and when you find it, it always makes you laugh! And recently my two friends in the house froze some of the clothes of two of the girls who live downstairs in a big bowl of ice water, which took a while to defrost hahaha. Listening to music really loud and dancing is what the house does best. We have so much fun and I am so happy I made the decision to live in what we lovingly call the Pink House. They are just like a family to me.
On the soccer field, we had an amazing preseason. Everyone worked so hard. The talent, and chemistry has been building every day. After a win against Fresno in unbelievable heat in an exhibition, we took a retreat to Bodega Bay. We were able to hang out on the beach and have fun, play card games on the deck overlooking the ocean, have some relaxing times under the sun, and eat some delicious seafood on the pier down the street. All the way back home, we snacked on some yummy salt water taffy.
Our first game of the season against Pepperdine was a disappointing loss, but we learned many great things from it and how to improve and play better in the next game against San Diego State. Although we went into overtime against SDSU, we were able to stay composed and knew that all it took was one goal to win. Our goal is to come out and win every match and not have any more repeats of last season's many overtime games. The team is really pumped for this season!
I am a little nervous about school, but at the same time really excited. I am planning on majoring in media studies, and I am thrilled about the classes I am taking this semester. I know once school starts, my free time will be taken down a notch, but I will be meeting many new people in class and learning about things I enjoy. I am so lucky to have my family and boyfriend close by - they mean the world to me. Seeing them after my games, in between class or on the weekends strengthens one of my top reasons for going to this school.
This week we are preparing for our games against North Dakota State and Hawaii in Hawaii!!!
Thank you so much for reading! look forward to our next blog date!