Sept. 28, 2011
Louisville, Ky. -
A lot has happened since the last blog, and with the many different personalities on this team, it can take some time to find the right words to convey all that happens. Could it be that the six credit hours are cutting into my blogging time? Not six classes, six hours; as in two classes. Nope, that can't be it. But that is the life of a super senior, right mom?
We've played five games since the last update, amassing a 4-1 record. Our wins came against IUPUI, Central Arkansas, Butler and Ohio State, with the lone loss coming in the BIG EAST opener at Notre Dame. This five game stretch started with IUPUI and Central Arkansas on a Friday and Sunday. We defeated IUPUI 2-0 on Friday and Central Arkansas 3-2 on Sunday. On paper, these were two games we expected to win, and we did. But the game on Sunday was easier said than done. After having a short period of recovery, we fell behind early and had to mount a comeback, which we did. Will Vitalis scored the game-winner in the last minute of the game. It's is a testament to the fight, determination and belief this team has in each other and our ability to go until the very end and get the result- very reminiscent of that great European team Manchester United. This game provided us a good lesson for the rest of the season. We know that every team we play against is going to give us their best game. Whether we are playing Central Arkansas on a Sunday afternoon, or Connecticut on a Saturday night (this coming Saturday, by the way), we have to be focused and ready to go from the very first whistle.
After getting those two wins over the weekend, we started our familiar pattern of playing on Wednesday and Saturday. The first Wednesday game of the year was against Butler in Cardinal Park. We knew we hadn't been at our best in the last game and we were determined to come out and get back to playing the way we know we can and will. There is no better opportunity to do that than against a good team at home. If the score is anything to go by, then we definitely produced a better performance. Getting a 4-0 win is always a fantastic result. But what was even more encouraging was the way we played. To that point in the season, it was probably our most complete performance all-around. Hopefully it would prove to be a bit of foreshadowing for the following games.
After getting three straight wins in the friendly confines of Cardinal Park, we took to the road for games at Ohio State and then at Notre Dame. First up was Ohio State in a rematch of our NCAA Sweet Sixteen game last year. We knew they would be a good, competitive team with a lot of emotion. We put on another very good performance against the Buckeyes and came away with a 1-0 win with a late game goal from Kenney Walker
. Though, yet again, he had some help from deflections. Whatever, it went in. It was a game in where we had a lot of the ball and created some good opportunities but had a bit of trouble finding the back of the net. Could that be even more foreshadowing? Regardless, we were building on the momentum and performance against Butler and maybe even played better against Ohio State then Butler. We are beginning to gain confidence, momentum and hit our stride as a team.
In a week where we were in Louisville for one day from Tuesday until Sunday, it would seem likely that fatigue could begin to play a factor in our performances. Not so, however. Against Notre Dame we played another great game, building even more on the previous two games. Unlike the other two, however, we conceded an early goal and were unable to score ourselves. We dominated much of the game and created some good chances, but just couldn't find that finishing touch. Soccer can be a cruel game. You win some you shouldn't, and lose some you shouldn't. I think the feeling afterwards was that we were the better team, played better, and deserved to win. It is that kind of game that will drive parents crazy and players mad. Those kinds of games are tests of character and can either force you to rise up and make the next one even better, or keep you down.
There is only one real choice and that is what this next game against Connecticut is all about. It provides us a chance to get three points in the BIG EAST and keep us on the path towards our ultimate goal.
Finally, we have a new member of our Cardinal family to welcome. Our incredible trainer, Scuba Steve Hoelscher and his wife Christy have a new addition to their family. Hadlee Mae Hoelscher has taken Steve away from his other family temporarily. Not everything has been going smooth for Steve's baby girl, however. Details cannot be provided, but all prayers and thoughts for Steve, Christy and Hadlee are greatly appreciated by the Hoelschers.