March 18, 2013
Today was our third day here in Europe! We woke up, had some breakfast, and then went to a local park to do some jogging and stretching to loosen our legs up before our first match of the trip!
Our team activity for today was called "Alpine Day". We walked about five minutes from our hotel where we got to play laser tag in caves. It was so much different than the laser tag we are used to playing. The caves were very dark, and there were disco lights everywhere (sometimes I would walk around the corner and find some teammates dancing and being silly).
After playing laser tag, we were escorted outside to find a ski lift waiting to take us up a hill for some bobsledding. The ski lift provided such a unique view of Valkenburg, the city we are staying in. At the top of the hill, we rode bobsleds down. Each person could control their own speed, so it was interesting to see which people would go flying down. Alpine day was a great experience and provided some great team bonding and wonderful memories!
After a busy Alpine day we headed back to the hotel for everyone to shower, nap, go to the super market etc. Everyone was pretty worn out from the busy morning! After everyone went their separate ways, we met back up for our pregame meal. The meals here at the hotel have been nothing short of amazing; we are definitely getting spoiled over here. We were offered an array of different things to choose from like chicken, pork, spaghetti, salad, and rolls. It was a great meal to have before our first game.
After everyone cleaned their plates, we all went back to our rooms for our final preparations before our big match. Everyone was really excited to finally get to play and in another country too. This was all together a new experience and there was a mixture of nerves and excitement. After everyone one got their things together, we headed out across the boarder from the Netherlands into Germany.
This wasn't too long of a drive, only 30 minutes or so. Once we got there, there was still some snow on the ground from last week. It wasn't too cold until the sun went down, then it was freezing. Everyone was very bundled up. We got to go into the locker room of the stadium by our field, which was massive and very nice. After we got changed, taped and mentally ready to go, we headed across the way to the field. The field was very interesting because it was on top of a parking deck. I think that was a first for all of us. You really didn't want to kick any balls over this fence, or they would be gone forever.
Kick off was at 6:30 sharp and the Blazers came out strong. We were pressing high and doing a good job of keeping the ball. We had a couple opportunities early on in the half, but did not capitalize. About halfway through the first half, we finally scored our first goal of the trip. We had a corner kick and a great service from Johanna Liney
and Megan Collins
. Once the ball was crossed, it was fumbled around a bit and then spit out right to Skylar Phillips on the right side between the six and the eighteen. She shot far post to put us up 1-0.
Not soon after, our opponent had a very nice finish off a cross to tie the game up. We kept our heads up though and stayed focused. Shortly after, we had a couple other opportunities but again could not finish. Within the next 10 minutes, freshman Kasey Johnson nicked one in. From a cross from Skylar Phillips, Kasey battled the center back and the keeper to put us up 2-1.
We finished up the half with the lead and went into halftime with a lot of positives, but definitely some negatives that needed to be addressed. Coming out in the second half, we came out very strong. Within the first 10 minutes of this half, Megan Collins hit a rifle from the left side of the eighteen into the back post side netting. It was a beautiful shot to put us up 3-1.
As the game pressed on, we started to get a little sloppy and let our opposition sneak another goal past us making it 3-2. After that, we had opportunity after opportunity but just could not find the back of the net. The game ended with us winning 3-2. It was a very good start to our games over here in Europe and we have many positives to take away from the match.
We also have many things we need to work on in these upcoming matches. All of us are extremely thrilled to be over here representing UAB and we are having an absolute blast doing it.
Thanks for reading,
Skylar Abby Phillips #23 and Kasey Johnson #13