Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Opening weekend out of the way

Hey Bearkat fans! Its Jenny Pence here, goalkeeper and captain of the soccer team. Once a week, I’ll be giving you updates on our games the previous weekend and on our team as a whole. So get excited, because this is only post No. 1. I know you can barely contain yourself.

First of all, preseason is finally over! It was a long couple of weeks, with a lot of soccer. We ran fitness tests, played small sided games and talked about tactical defense/offense/everything else. And that was just Day 1. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but we covered A TON of stuff over those two weeks. We have eight new freshmen in, and they seem to have adjusted really well. It’s a weird feeling when I stop and think that this will be my LAST preseason. I, along with four other players: Kelley Sikinger, Nicole Watkins, Adriana Vasquez, and Alex Clifton, will be graduating after this season. But, I won’t get too sentimental yet. I’ll save that for later in the year.

We started off our 2010 campaign against HBU, a team that we have historically played down to. I always seem to come off the field wishing something had gone differently, and Friday night’s game was no exception. It was our first game together as a new team, and we are playing 10 freshmen and sophomores, so maybe the nerves got the best of us. We had a bunch of scoring opportunities, and freshman center forward Emily Edenstrom was creating some good chances for herself and others, but we couldn’t find the net. With 5 seconds left in the game (yep, you read that right), HBU snuck one past me in the side netting, and we lost 1-0. Although we were frustrated, it was definitely a lesson learned.

The Sunday game against the University of Houston was a different story. We got to play under the lights at Robertson Stadium, where the Houston Dynamo play, so that was a really cool experience. Before the game, we were in the locker room where the Chicago Fire (another MLS team) had stayed the night before. I think Houston’s plan was to smoke us out, because it felt about 90 degrees in that locker room. I think they let their cleaning crew off for the night too, because it smelled like the Fire had just left: stinky guys, with a hint of dirty socks and a little bit of dirty bathroom. Mmm, mmm, good. We had large fans to cool us off, and Kirby Zak, our sophomore center mid, decided to make a game of it. She had brought a large bag of popcorn, and would throw a piece towards the fan. After it was blown back, Natalie Johnson and Gayle Ziegler were trying to catch it in their mouths. I don’t think they ever caught one. Maybe I missed it though.

Anyways, back to the game. We played REALLY well against UofH. We were moving the ball well, and Kelsi Brown, Kirby Zak and Tricia Mallory were doing a good job controlling the midfield. Our back line is brand new and is just starting to play together, so we are still working the kinks out, but they did a good job considering. The outside forwards were doing an awesome job of moving up and down the flanks on offense and defense. We also got almost every single player some minutes, so that was really good. It’s nice to know that we have capable subs coming into the game. We ended up losing 1-0, but our goal was to play better than we did Friday night, so we didn’t feel too bad about it. Our record doesn’t show it, but I think we made some really good progress towards our ultimate goal of winning the conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA’s. Yep, SHSU as the conference champions.

What’s that you say? You don’t think we can do it? Just watch.

Have a great week everyone, and a great first week of classes! Talk to you next week!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU senior keeper

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