After a long weekend, and a pretty disappointing loss, our team came together Monday morning for a team meeting. It helped to bring our spirits up and really got us motivated for practice this week as we were preparing to head to sunny California!
We started out training this week pretty light with a technical activity. Passing and moving around a square. Needless to say it wasn't the most thrilling activity, but we looked really sharp. Then we moved into a more exciting game of exposure. There are three teams and two teams try and possess the ball while the other team defends them and tries to win the ball to become the possession team. It is many players' favorite game to play. I enjoy it as well. Coach had us play in quick two touch to focus on our touches on the ball and our technical game. After that we played 7v7 and focused on following our passes and getting in support of our teammates with the ball.
Then we ended with Ashley's favorite game SEAMS! It's a good confidence booster because it involves scoring lots of goals. Overall, Monday's practice was really successful, and I think most would agree that it may have been one of our best this year. We had great work rate, which was refreshing to see after a tough loss on Sunday.
Tuesday's morning session was focused more on our defending shape. As we moved into playing 3v3 to a target we worked on our rhythm: up, back, and through. We moved on to 7v7, passing into different zones with different touch restrictions. It made us think fast and try to create some good scoring opportunities. Tuesday night we played 11v11 for about 45 minutes. One team played a 3-5-2 to simulate San Diego's. We learned how to adjust and play against their formation so we will be ready to take them on this Friday.
Wednesday was travel day! All the girls showed up all dressed up and pretty to get on the plane to head to San Diego. Our plane left at 2 p.m. ET and we got in at about 7 p.m. PT which is 10 p.m. back in Ohio.
Once we checked into the hotel we headed to the university to get a light practice in. When we pulled up to the University of San Diego, everyone was in shock at how gorgeous it is. The campus is absolutely breathtaking.
We played on their turf practice field under the lights, and everyone was very pumped up so we had a good practice. Everyone was laughing and it was just a great atmosphere. We did some technical juggling ladders and played possession. Then we went to the famous IN AND OUT BURGER for dinner. It was delicious.
Thursday we got up and had training in the heat. We played possession and we worked on our finishing, with some other activities thrown in there. Everyone was working hard which is good to see the day before a game. We went to lunch with a former Ohio State player, Anna Burber, at Ki's restaurant by the beach. She had all of our mouths hanging wide open when she told us that she has completed 10 marathons and an IRONMAN since she graduated from OSU. She is now a personal trainer in San Diego.
After lunch we all went across the street and took pictures in the ocean. When we got back to the hotel we had some time to relax at the pool and hang out. Then we went to Olive Garden for dinner before we went to bed to get a good night of sleep before our big game tomorrow!
The week has flown by, but it has been fun. The training's were hard and prepared us for our game against San Diego tomorrow and USC on Sunday. I think that we are ready for this weekend. We will definitely compete with these teams and show them a good match, and hopefully have two wins under our belts after the weekend is over!