So fall has officially started here in Columbus. For us, this means several changes including 1) Big Ten season is underway, 2) school has finally started, 3)practice times get changed, and 4) it literally rains every day. This week at practice proved to be a big test for all of us, mainly because with school starting, practice times got moved from 10-12 a.m. to 9-11 a.m. (that's a good hour of sleep, let me tell you). With the time adjustment and the stress of Big Ten season starting, my teammates and I had a lot on our minds. Coach was nice enough to give us Monday off, but come Tuesday it was back to business again. So we hit the field in our rain jackets and got to work. We were extremely happy getting away from Sunday with a "W" but we all knew we had a lot of work to do coming into the upcoming weekend. The underlying tone throughout this week of practice has been our finishing; since we know that Big Ten scoring chances can be few and far between. Our strikers and midfielders have done a great job of rising to the challenge, but our defense isn't letting them get anything easy this week at practice. Coach has been emphasizing, "line pride", which is taking pride in your position with your fellow teammates and proving that your line is the one that will make the biggest impact on the game. We goalkeepers have no problem rising to this challenge of course, we are outwardly obnoxious and borderline embarrassing when it comes to "line pride". I mean, we only get so much recognition right? Needless to say, it has been offense vs. defense all week and has truly been neck and neck. I don't know who is winning at this point, but Sunday's game should be the perfect proving ground.
Tomorrow we are going to Biggs for a short practice and video then hitting the bus for a short six-hour trip to State College. There is no better way to be reminded that school is in session as when you are sitting on a bus, trust me. When all you have to entertain yourself is in your backpack, options for distraction are limited. I personally have to knock out some major reading for the quarter. At least G won't yell at me for not doing anything! Ultimately, we are all very anxious for the game on Sunday so it will be nice getting there a day before.
Playing Penn State in "happy valley" always proves itself to be a challenge (I say this in my one year of experience), but I'm confident in our preparation this past week. Everyone loves playing Penn State, because we know that it's going to be a game and everyone is needed to be successful. So if you are in the State College area around 1:00 p.m. Sunday, we could use the fan support! If not, it's only a short 6-hour drive to come see your favorite women's soccer team on a lazy Sunday!
Looking forward to the weekend and stay tuned! Go Bucks! O-H...