Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer 2009

So much has happened/changed since my last post in May... The first, and biggest change has been where and for what team I'm playing this summer. My last post says I was playing in VA Beach with the Hampton Roads Piranhas of the W-League... However, things didn't work out there--mostly due to my schedule with teaching all week, so i couldn't attend practices. So, as this was all coming to light, my best friend Katie was talking to me about the Lancaster Inferno (WPSL) that I played on last year. She said they still didn't have a GK. So, after a week of talking with both coaches, I made the switch to the Inferno. I had been excited to play in a different league and to stay with my awesome host family in VA Beach, but with where I am and where I want to go in my soccer career, I need playing time. So, it was great to be back with the Inferno for Summer 2009!!

Our season started out with 3 strong teams. We lost to Boston Aztecs (5 contracted players with the Boston Breakers) and lost 1-3. And to date, we've scored the only goal against them!! Next up was a challenging weekend in Mass & CT. We handedly defeated NE Mutiny 3-0 through some stellar play all around the field! It was an exciting game! Then, we survived/outplayed SoccerPlus CT 3-2. A great weekend for our team!

We beat CDSA 4-0 at home, then beat TSC Maryland 2-0 on the road. We then hosted Maryland a week later and gave up a late goal to tie them 1-1. The next day, we hosted the Philly Liberty, with sole possession of 4th place on the line. We beat them 1-0! Two days later, we had a huge game hosting the undefeated Long Island Fury. We were down 0-2 at half, and came back to tie them 2-2 on some great passing, possession and finishing!!!

With only 8 available team members, we used the grateful help of 4 guest players to persevere and defeat CDSA, away, on the 4th of July, by a final score of 0-3. THANK YOU, GUEST PLAYERS FOR HELPING TO SAVE OUR SEASON!!!

So now, with one regular season game left (@ AC Diablos on July 12, 3-4-2), we are currently sitting in 3rd place with a record of 6-1-2. The top 8 teams from our East Division go to the East Division playoffs, with the top 4 teams hosting the first-round game. After winning the inter-division playoffs, we would go to the WPSL Final Four held in Long Island, NY in August. So let's keep rolling!!!

With the unexpected success of my WPS tryouts with the Freedom this past Feb/March, I've decided to pursue my soccer dream of playing professionally. To do this, I've decided to not teach next year at all. I'm going to look for a job around H'burg for the next year or so. In the meantime, I'm going to be coaching a club team this fall, and training for tryouts with a WPS team for next year's season. With the addition of Philly Independence and the Atlanta Beat next season, there are more opportunities, and I'm going to give it a go!

The inaugural season of WPS has been great to witness and watch! Attendance has been averaging over 5,000 fans each game, and the level of play is superb! While it's annoying, it's been great for all the teams (except the superior LA SOL) to be defeating each other on any given night. Nothing is expected and the action keeps me on the edge of my seat!

The two greatest aspects of the season for me have been 1) going to MD to cheer on the Wash. Freedom in person 4 times now! and 2) watching the games on FSC each Sunday night at 6pm. To be able to turn on the tv and watch the "big names" (national team players) playing with and against each other, and to see the "big college names" (names i've heard mostly thru ncaa tourney runs) playing with and against each other as well, has been great! And of course, having had the opportunity to play with the Freedom for a week, it's been fun watching them develop, gell and play together!

Go Freedom!!!

So my weeks are busy with living in VA, traveling to PA for practices and games each week, and with trying to find a job or two for the fall/winter/spring. I have put on over 17,000 miles on my new 2005 Mazda3 (woohoo!!!) since buying it in January, and am MORE THAN READY for a week-long stay in VA this week... an extended trip to the beach with Katie (fri-tues) with our last regular season game Sun night nearby... and then a full week in PA with our playoff game being that Sat, July 18th. Can't wait!!!

"The 13th Juror" by John Lescroart
"Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult
"Coaching the Mental Game: Leadership Philosophies and Strategies for Peak Performance in Sports--and Everyday Life" by H. A. Dorfman