KATIE HENRICKS - WOMEN'S SOCCER
Well, we meet once again, and at a bit of a crossroads I'm afraid. Having come off a split weekend against St. Mary's and Gonzaga, our team put in a good week of training working on our a attack a little bit, hoping to seal the deal this weekend.
Friday we took a roadtrip to Kennessaw State. We arrived there on Thursday afternoon and had a good training session. We worked hard and as usual, smiles and laughs filled the practice. Friday finally rolled around and as we got to the game, our warm-ups looked a bit complacent and slow. The lack of energy did show a little the first half. We were not that productive.
After a halftime talk from Coach Harbin and a team huddle, we came out the second half with a new intensity. We created so many oppurtunites for ourselves, yet had a hard time putting one in the net. After the game, I checked for any glass or other material that may of been covering the front of the goal prohibiting the ball from going in, and as you can guess, there was nothing there.
We outshot Kennessaw State, but it was just one of those days where the ball wouldn't go in and the goalkeeper also came up with some good saves against quality shots from our team. It was an unfortunate loss, but all around we played pretty well and saw improvement from our attack, which is what we have been looking for.
Saturday we came out for practice to loosen up our legs and Coach Harbin was determined for us to find a way to finish a game off. We played a very small sided game, goals about 12 yards apart with two teams of five to work on what we call "clinical" finishing. We did a very good job of this. The goalkeepers still came up with some saves, but we were scoring left and right and that gave us a positive attitude going into Sunday's game against Samford.
Samford is a very good team. They are quick and skilled and know how to play within their system. We knew would have to come out strong. We had a lot of support from some loyal fans from our UAB student section. The came out early to cook out and paint themselves in Green and Gold. They even had horns on and noise makers! This was an awesome thing for our team, it got us so excited to play.
This frist half we struggled a bit with Samford's system of play. Samford found themselves with a penalty kick in the first and they were able to barely get it in the back of the net. At halftime, Coach Harbin explained how to fix the problem and just come out and pressure them.
That is exactly what we did! We gave Samford no room to breathe. Danya Barsalona found the back of the net to tie the score. The rest of the half was a battle, it was a very physical game. At the end of the game, it was still tied and we had overtime, which means the first team to score wins. We still pressured them a lot, but Samford got through and scored first.
It was a big dissappointment for our team, especially after such a battle and come back. It was just one of those games that after all the hardwork and intense emotions flying around, you do not want to lose. But, you win some and you lose some and we still came out of that game having learned more and pretty happy with our efforts and the heart that everybody gave when they were out on the field. We never stopped fighting and never will.
We do a cheer with our strength and conditioning coach Stacey Torman on Tuesdays, which is our rough day in terms of fitness and intensity of practice. The cheer says, "the harder i work, the harder it is to surrender", and that's exactly what has happened and will continue to happen with our team. We have one last game before conference games get started and we plan on getting the most out of it and coming out with a win. You are only as good as your next game and that is what our team is going to be getting ready for this week. I hope that all of the fans will support us and be ready to read next week about some exciting news! Thanks for reading and see you next week. GO BLAZERS!