September 14, 1999 - by

Players’ Thoughts With Jamie Gurtov


Sept. 14, 1999


The bus ride to Tampa was not as long as I remembered it. Perhaps it was
because I slept most of the way. My day had started with an 8 a.m. class, so
I was in need of a nap by the time we were on I-10 heading for Tampa. When
I finally awoke, the familiar road signs made me think of driving to my
hometown. The discussion on the bus seemed to center around articles
written in FSView. One article was mocking women’s sports in general and
seemed to indicate that the only positive thing about attending a soccer
game was “the view”. The other article made fun about comments our coach
had made about our upcoming season.

When we finally arrived in Tampa we went to the Olive Garden for
our pre-game meal. After we ate we went straight to the field to look
around and start preparing for our game with The University of South
Florida. The field was not what we were used to. It was not cut and had
divots and uneven areas. The track surrounding the field almost doubled as
the sideline. With thunderstorms threatening, we went to the locker room
to dress and get our treatment.

In the locker room before the game, Coach Baker told us that South
Florida was ranked 10th in the South region. We were read quotes from
their newspaper saying that they were not worried about us and they would
play anyone anytime. On the field as we warmed up, one could no help
notice that the USF players laughing and dancing around. They had not lost
on their field since they last played us there in 1997. However, they
didn’t seem to show us much respect so we went out to prove something.
The game progressed and before half time we were up 1-0. We started the
second half in a situation we had not faced very often. We were up 1-0 on
the road and we knew USF would throw everything they had at us. We fought
hard and preserved our win.

The bus ride home was sweeter for the win. We were proud and felt
that we had accomplished something. We watched the movie “Urban Legends”
which seemed to frighten one of our coaches! We didn’t get into
Tallahassee until 2am. After unloading the bus and turning in our gear it
was time to head home. Many of us also had 8am classes the next day. When
I woke up it felt as though I had just gone to bed. After classes we had
to prepare for our game versus Stetson the next night. The practice was
short and intense, focusing on possession and our finishing. After we were
done we all headed home to rest!!

Thursday was game day but I had another 8am class. Afterwards I
came home and took a nap to get ready for the game at 7pm. My second class
was at 2pm and after that I had to be in the training room for treatment at
4:30pm. After getting heat and stim for my back, I went to the locker room
to get ready for our pre game talk by Coach Baker. There had been
thunderstorms most of the day and we were not sure whether we would get to
play. The game was televised on Sunshine TV and we were eager to prove
ourselves on our home field. We knew Stetson would be anxious to show what
they could do also and would be ready to play. We hit the field at 6:15pm
as the storms cleared.

Despite being up 1-0 at halftime we were disappointed with how we
played. We were not playing anywhere near our potential. We stepped it up
from the beginning of the second half and dominated the game. With three
goals in the second half we came out with a 4-0 win, outshooting Stetson
30-1. Although we played better, we realized that we needed to put
together a full 90 minutes when we start play in the ACC.

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