Welcome back Crusader fans!
Welcome back to the Valpo women’s soccer blog! If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to read the previous blogs in case we bloggers refer back to something, like the Crusader Cup. Also, we have a facebook page and a twitter account, which can both be accessed from the Valparaiso women’s soccer website, so check those out as well!
I apologize in advance because I know this blog will be longer than most. So much happens in the first week or so of preseason!
Another year is starting, so we are on campus for preseason. As a player, I have to admit that the hardest part of being in a fall sport is leaving home three weeks earlier than all your friends in order to… kill yourself by training twice a day. In the end it’s worth it, but sometimes it is hard to think of the benefits down the road when the sacrifices you are making are right in front of you.
Anyways, preseason starts off with medical testing and fitness tests, the first one being boring and the second being painful. However, we did have FIVE girls make time on all 10 cones (a shuttle fitness test), which is pretty darn impressive. So congrats to senior Sarah Melhorn, sophomore Luisa Desario, and freshman Amanda Ulin, Lauren Gagnon, and Kristin Manski!
After the tests was Christmas! That is what we jokingly call the meeting when we receive all of our team gear, like practice uniforms, training shoes, bags, rain gear, and cold weather gear. It’s pretty cool to get that stuff and start wearing it, because you finally feel like you are representing your university. Since then, we have been training twice a day, mostly focusing on organizing ourselves defensively, and we have had a meeting almost every night.
During one of the meetings, we did the “marshmallow challenge”, where teams of three people had to build the tallest free-standing structure that could support a large marshmallow using nothing but a yard of masking tape, a yard of string, and 24 uncooked spaghetti noodles—in under 18 minutes. Amazingly, we had two groups with the winning height of 24.25 inches! To determine the winner, we tested how each structure withstood a shearing effect of the opposing team trying to blow the spaghetti structure over. Casey, Kristin, and Hailey’s structure fell down into second place, while Brooke, Amanda, and Becky’s structure stood solidly in first.
One of the days we didn’t have a team meeting, a large group of us went out for ice cream! It was a great opportunity to get off campus for a while and enjoy each other’s company and a sweet treat. I got one of the summer specials, key lime pie with raspberries, and it was super scrumptious. I have to mention that the servers were great. They sang lots of songs, joked around with customers, and even threw globs of ice cream across the store for another server to catch in a cup! How could we not have a great time when we have fun servers, fun teammates, and delicious ice cream?
On Tuesday we entered our first exhibition match, against Illinois State. We were the first Valparaiso sports team to play a fall game, after only 5 days of preseason. Visit our Valpo athletic website for a rundown of the game. I will say that we won 1-0 on a goal by Hailey Chmela. As a team, we achieved many of the goals we laid out for ourselves during team meetings. Also, we didn’t let the heat beat us. I didn’t check the weather report because I didn’t want to psyche myself out before the game even started, but it was HOT! And humid. Let’s just say that everyone on the team was completely soaked in sweat by the time the game started. It was great to start the season off on a good note and I am sure we will keep progressing as a team.
The day after the game, Coach Marovich surprised us by telling us to report to the ARC for weight training instead of outdoor practice. But, being the sneaky and surprising coach he is, we watched a film instead! It was one of the best gifts/surprises we have received this preseason so far. The film we watched was called Pelada. Here is the website if you want to check it out (which I highly suggest): . Basically, it’s a documentary made by a young couple who traveled around the world playing pick-up soccer games. I really enjoyed the film and if you are the sort of person who is just as interested in the culture of soccer as the end result of a match, you should watch it.
Well, I think that’s more than enough for now. I will let the other bloggers, Sammy Olsen and Kristin Manski pick up from here!