Oct. 21, 1999
Last weekend we took a road trip to Virginia and Texas to face two teams
ranked in the top 20 in the country, UVA (#7) and Texas A+M (#22). We
left early on Thursday morning and had a long day of flying and driving
ahead of us. We had an hour layover in Atlanta so most people either
rested or grabbed something to eat. We finally arrived in Richmond at
2:30pm. Each coach drove a van, so we split up into groups of about 4
or 5 and got on the road to Charlottesville. I rode in Natalie’s van,
our graduate assistant. It was an hours drive but we listened to music
and laughed most of the way there so it didn’t take long. We stopped
for dinner at our Assistant Athletic Director’s parent’s house. It was
a great meal. We had lasagna, salad, chicken wings, bread, fruit and
brownies. We finally arrived at our hotel at 5:30 pm and had about half
an hour to be ready to go to practice. We almost froze to death at
practice, as it was 40 degrees, a little different from the 90 degrees
we were used to, practice was short but intense. It was tough as we
were on a turf field, which we were not used to. However, it went well
and we were soon back at the hotel and ready for bed! Lights out at
Game day! We woke up at 9:30am and had a team breakfast in the hotel.
We had a light jog and stretch and watched some video of our game with
UVA from last year. We were ready to go and play but it seemed like
forever until kick off. We had time to relax and study before our
pregame meal at 3pm. Finally, we headed for the field at 5:30pm. We
lost to UVA 4-3 in overtime last year so I was ready to get revenge this
year. It was freezing but it did not seem to phase us, as we were ready
to play. We started out strong and handled anything they threw at us.
It was 0-0 at half time. We knew we had a chance to win in the second
half. We went back and forth with them and it was looking like it may
go into overtime until they headed home a cross with nine minutes left.
When the whistle blew at the end, we were disappointed, as we knew we
had given everything and just could not put the ball in the net.
We returned to the hotel after spending a few minutes with some kids
that had come to the FSU soccer camp that had come to watch the game.
We were all exhausted and we had a long travel day ahead of us on
Saturday. The next day we were up at 6:30 am and headed to the airport
again! On the way, our assistant coach’s van had some trouble, which
made the morning even better! Those in his van switched into the other
vans while Darren continued on his own hoping that his van would make it
to the airport! He’s all about punctuality and being organized so it
was kinda funny. However, when we got lost and he made it to the
airport before we did he thought it was funny no one else was laughing!!
We left Richmond and arrived in Atlanta with another hour to spare
before flying to Houston. We arrived in Texas at 3pm CDT and
transferred to our hotel by bus. We went for dinner at the Outback and
had a great meal again, which is just what we needed after traveling
half way across the country!
Game day 2! We had a similar routine to Friday. We got up at 9:30am
and had a light breakfast. We then went on a long jog to stretch and
loosen up after traveling all day the day before. We got to rest in our
rooms for about an hour before heading off to our pregame meal at the
Macaroni Grill. It was really good and everyone was getting ready to
play that night. We left the hotel two hours before the kick off as we
had an hours drive to College Station. It seemed like a long drive and
everyone was starting to get ancy. Finally we got to the locker room
and got ready. It was freezing again, which was strange, as it had been
80 degrees when we got on the bus and about 40 degrees by game time
(7pm). But again it did not seem to bother us. A+M scored in the first
half, which was disappointing, but we knew that we would have the wind
at our back in the second half and be able to use it as they had done.
Sure enough, we scored 2 minutes into the second half. April Murphy hit
a rocket from 25 yards out. It really got us going. Again we were back
and forth with them until 10 minutes from the end when they scored on a
direct free kick from 20 yards out. It was another hard loss to take as
we had played well and deserved better. We had competed with another
nationally ranked team on their home field and had not been able to get
the result despite playing well and giving it our all. The drive home
seemed long. Most of us were exhausted and slept some of the way.
Monday was travel day again. We woke at the lovely time of 5:45AM and
fell to sleep on the bus on the way to the airport, our favorite place
by this time. We finally made it back to Tallahassee at 1pm after a
very long, tiring weekend. Despite losing both games, this weekend
showed us that can play with anyone as long as we believe in ourselves
and give 110%.