KATIE HENRICKS - WOMEN'S SOCCER
Hello again loyal Blazer fans,
The weeks are flying by and we find ourselves already about halfway through October. There have been a few things to celebrate this month though, with teammates Marie Yempuku, Jill Porto and Sally Palmer all having birthdays during this month, and we cannot forget a childhood favorite, Halloween! October has been an exciting month despite the fact that our team has struggled a bit recently.
After having a bit of tough luck and a few breakdowns here and there, our team was looking for a successful weekend on the road last weekend. We traveled to Houston, Texas to play Rice and Houston. Friday night we found ourselves at Rice's field where two years ago we were defeated in the first round of conference tournament. So, for some of us who were there at the time, it was a chance for redemption and to create a different outcome.
Our team stepped out rather strong and was playing well. We fouled a Rice player a little bit out of our own 18 yard line and they were awarded a free kick. At the distance it was at, we knew she would most likely be shooting the ball, so we set up our wall. The shot went right by our wall on the ground and attempting to stick my OWN foot out to stop it from going into the cluster of people, it deflected off my toe into the corner of the goal. Yes, I know, my jaw dropped also, but it is one of those things that there is nothing you can do about it and you have to brush it off and move on. So going into halftime we were 1-0 and coach just talked about a few things we needed to improve on but was pleased with our efforts.
The second half we continued battling and never once did our team look defeated which is a bit of a change in attitude from previous games, so that was definitely a positive. In the second half though off a long throw from freshman Morgan Haney the ball got into the 18 yard box and after bobbling around in there for a while our team was relentless and senior Jill Porto found the back of the net. As re-energized as it got us, we found ourselves defending a corner kick about 10 minutes later and with a couple of little mistakes, were down again 2-1. Where it was a mistake that probably should not have happened, Coach Harbin did discover that after giving up approximately 50 corner kicks this season, that was the first goal that has been scored off one. So, that was a positive statistic that our team could take some pride in. Even though we lost, we did bring a good game and improved from the last weekend.
Saturday we trained and took the rest of the day pretty easy. Some people decided to study and some went to the mall, but either way it was a nice recovery day and good preparation for Sunday's game against Houston
We were all ready to play again on Sunday. On Friday, Houston lost to Memphis 3-0, so we knew they would be tired, but looking to get back on track just like us, so we would have to bring a good game again. Stepping out the first half we were up 1-0 with the goal scored by senior Sally Palmer. The rest of the half we kind of got lazy and struggled and were on our heels defensively. During halftime, Coach Harbin firmly told us that we would have to pick it up and that our lack of effort was unacceptable. After this wake up call and getting rid of the ringing in my ears from the halftime speech, our team knew what we needed to do. The entire second half was a different game and we ended up scoring four more goals. Jill Porto, Danya Barsalona, Justine Hartigan, and Sally Palmer all scored in the second half to finish the game 5-0. It was a good, solid win.
This weekend, we are at home Friday night at 7 p.m. against SMU and Sunday at 2 p.m. against Tulsa. Not only are we home, but so is our football team on Saturday evening and our volleyball team on Friday and Sunday. It is going to be an exciting weekend for UAB athletics. Please support all of the Blazer teams. We appreciate any and all support. Thanks for reading and Go Blazers! :)