Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tryouts, Round #2

Got back from 2 days of tryouts last night around 10pm. We had two training sessions each day, with a little bit of relaxation in a hotel overnight Thursday night. I'll start at the beginning...

First of all, I really missed Wednesday night's pre-game party with Katie. And the drive up to DC was longer and more boring without her : (

When I showed up on Thursday, and everyone else showed up, there were 30 of us altogether--28 field players and 2 goalkeepers. GK training (well...warm-ups) were only slightly more intense. The rest of the first session was spent in 7v7 games and an 11v11 game at the end. The afternoon session was warm-up followed by 11v11 for the rest of the session.

At the end of the day, the coaches got us together and said that tomorrow would be more 11v11 than we did today... Some players wanted to play different positions, and the coaches wanted to see more decision-making.

Friday, we came out and did all that, playing more 11v11, as I continued to play well.

*A neat little side-fact... the other GK was the starting GK for the Long Island Fury of the WPSL last summer!! We played against each other in the game where we played them at our place. And...we beat 'em 2-1!!!

Anyway... after our last training session Friday, we all headed over to the indoor soccer complex and sat on the bleachers for the coaches to talk to us. Head Coach Jim Gabarra told us about their W-League team, and about their WPSL-affiliate, Hampton Roads Piranhas. He also mentioned that, obviously, they are looking for a few key positions to fill, so even if "you" were the best player at the tryouts the past two days, doesn't mean that we need you.

After all that, he read off 8 numbers that were moving on to next week's preseason camp. And my number was called!!!!!! I was shocked and so excited!!! No one showed emotion though. It was weird. I wanted to smile really really big, but felt like I couldn't.

So, us 8 went off to the side, the coaches congratulated us, and told us to report at 9am Sunday morning to get our training gear, and then for our first training session with the full team from 10am-12pm. I'm gonna be training with Brianna Scurry; Abby Wambach's gonna be shooting on me; and Cat Whitehill will be my defender!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh!!! I have pictures of them hanging in my room at home (USA WNT calendar) and in my office at school (calendar pictures)!!!!!!!!!

I'm simply speechless...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What an experience!!

So, today's tryouts rocked!! We (Katie and me) were expecting about 50 girls (from the mass email list we received Friday), but there were only 32 there. The level of play wasn't as high as we had anticipated. Some of it was due to the lack of fitness for most girls (thank goodness we've been training for 2 months!), but there was just a wide range of talent.

Both sessions were identical. Field players warmed-up while the goalkeepers (GKs) warmed-up separately. Then, all the girls were divided into four teams, and we played 3 games of 7v7/8v8. After a quick break, we played 40 mins of 11v11 (2, 20-mins halves). Then, we were finished.

I felt completely satisfied with how I did in the warm-up drills and throughout the games. "I held onto balls. I gave up very few rebounds. I communicated clearly, concisely and loudly. I got to know and used girls' names (defenders). I stopped and completely stuffed 2 of 3 breakaways. I was pumped and totally stepped up when I had to... Katie rocked it up too! She had brilliant crosses and great decision-making in the run-of-play. (journal entry).

Tonight, the email came... I've been called back!!!!!! Katie wasn't called back, but the only reason I can think of why, is that they didn't need an outside mid. I love you, Katie! You rocked it!! Keep working and trying out for teams. You will have a successful career one day!!!

I'm so excited!!!! Invite-only tryouts will be held Thursday and Friday! Yea, baby!!!!!!! : )

Friday, February 20, 2009

PreGame Rituals

Katie and I can't believe that tomorrow is finally here!!! Tomorrow, we'll be driving up to DC and training for the day with a bunch of professional soccer hopefuls like ourselves!

Tonight, we got together and did our usual pre-game rituals that we would perform before games in high school and college, since the occasion was similar. Katie came over and we ate some Stouffer's Italian Lasagna!! Then, while we put in the movie "Miracle", Katie was looking up some songs to put on two pump-up CD's to listen to on the way up to DC, while I mixed up and baked oatmeal raisin and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. And can I just say... those were the best cookies I ever made!!! And Katie agreed! The last thing we did, then, was to polish our cleats until they shined!!! It was a great night of relaxing and getting our focus for tomorrow's tryouts.

So, here's to hoping that pasta, an incredible sports movie, energy cookies (for the trip), good pump-up CD's, and polishing our shoes leads us to a great tryout and some great memories!!

An excerpt from my journal tonight...

It's finally here! All the long-distant running, the sprints, agility, push-ups, abs workouts, lifting and footwork will be on display in less than 12 hours from now.

This is what I've been dreaming about ever since I was in elementary school. This is what's kept me going through middle school, high school, and college. This is what keeps me going now.

Somehow I thought I would "feel" something. Sheer excitement. Unbridled joy (no pun intended). The enormity of this opportunity. Something... And even as I was talking with Katie tonight (who feels the same), maybe it's because we are the underdogs. We have nothing to lose. And everything to prove. We're coming from tiny high schools and a small college. We're virtually unknown. No one at tryouts will have ever seen us play. We have the opportunity to go out there and impress.

When I go out there tomorrow, and I go throughout the two tryout sessions, I will be 100% focused on my goal at hand--to show off the talent God has blessed me with.

I'm going to be the brick wall. Strikers' worst nightmare. I'm gonna be me. I'm gonna give it my all. I'm gonna be positive. I'm gonna talk. I'm gonna dominate. I'm gonna command my box--MY HOUSE!!! And I'm gonna have fun!! Woohoo!!!

The question Katie and I keep coming back to over and over and over and over again, is...