Hi Buckeye Nation!
I can't believe it's already the best day of the week again! And by that I mean it's game day! The week has flown by, as has the month! September is only a few days away; what that means for us is a few things: classes are creeping closer and closer, football season is within reach, and of course the required purchase of a new parking pass. Other than heading to traffic and parking, I don't have anything else planned for today. I like to keep my schedule stress free and open on game day. Of course this task is much easier before school is in so I'm enjoying the ability to do so while I can!
This past weekend we had our first two games. It was a bit weird this year because we usually have an exhibition game before our first regular season match, so BG was the first opponent we've seen (other than ourselves) and it counted. We are happy with the way we connected as a team and the rhythm we set. We pride ourselves on holding each other to standards so that whether we're playing in the BIG TEN championship or just in an activity in practice the level of play reflects our desire for excellence.
The game on Sunday against West Virginia was a fantastic early season test for us, especially with them being such a strong program, currently ranked #16 in the nation. The soccer pitch became a battlefield for 110 minutes, stretching into double overtime. Ending in a tie was a result that we celebrated. Of course being the competitive group of girls that we are, we're always disappointed if we don't win. But the way we represented ourselves against a great opponent was something that is very promising, especially this early in the year.
It's always challenging coming off of a good weekend. We have Monday's off, so going out to practice on Tuesday we had to remind ourselves to be extra tuned in to the tasks at hand. There is always the tendency to ride the wave of the weekend which makes it easy to forget that we need to prepare for our next game. I've been nursing a bit of a groin strain so after the first few activities Coach Walker thought it would be best if I sat the rest of practice out, which is smart because I'd rather be 100% on game day. It also stinks because for the rest of practice I had to watch my teammates play (and run, it's Tuesday duh). However, I've had the past three years to perfect my leadership skills from the sidelines because of my ACL's so I like to think I still make an impact. Tuesday is actually not just your average day of the week, it's "fitness Tuesday!" So to end practice the team ran 10 120's!
I was able to train the entire Wednesday and Thursday sessions. Wednesday sessions are always heavier than a Thursday practice because we don't want to tire our legs out the day before a game. Glen's [Coach Tourville] technical repetition activities gets the team warmed up and prepared to be skillfully clean so that drills can run smoothly. We moved into more conceptual activities for the biggest chunk of practice, and we usually end with finishing. By far my favorite activity of the week, not to mention one of my favorites anyway, was played on Wednesday: Bucks in the Box (to goals). It's a very high energy game, competitive, and physical. My team didn't win but I still had fun.
I think that we are itching to get on the field and show our improvement since last weekend. As a group we're committed to play for each other and to get as many girls on the field as possible. Our roster is so deep, which is a fantastic attribute. I'm really excited about this year's squad, the energy and momentum that we've created this pre-season is really encouraging. We just have to stay hungry and great things will come our way!
That's all for now Bucks! Hope to see you all out at the game tonight and Sunday!
Walker Adds Five for 2016