Monday, July 30, 2012

"Set your goals high, and dont stop till you get there."

Saturday we traveled to Kemi to face Merilappi United. In our first meeting against them we drew 2-2 in a game that we agreed wasn’t our best. After a long bus ride, a stop to buy not one, but two pairs of cleats we arrived to the field in time for a very quick warm up. The first half we couldn’t find our rhythm. We looked panicked and out of sync.  In the 25th minute Jenni broke through and was able to break the tie; she slid in the ball past the keeper for the 1-0 lead. Not long after Merilappi was lucky enough to even the score at 1, off a ball that ricochet off one of our defenders.  We went into halftime 1-1. Coming out of the locker rooms we knew we needed to pick it up and it showed in the second half. Brooke scored a bomb in the 60th minute. Linda played a great ball through to Jenni, whose attempt was saved by the goalkeeper. The rebound popped out and Brooke slammed it home. In the 70th minute, I played a goal kick over the defense, which I think Tess flicked on, that Jenni was able to run onto and placed perfectly for the 3rd goal of the match. The game finished 3-1. With the win we will finish first, despite that we have one more game we have enough points to guarantee us first place. This will give us 3 starting points going into the final leg of the season. As a team this solidifies our first goal and we are looking forward to starting the second part of our season.

Highlights from the game

Other stuff going on.. Last Wednesday we had a team sauna night. Although the weather wasn’t the best we managed to have a great time. Brooke, Wena, Lena and I even took a quick jump off the highdive before warming up in the sauna. Ulla and Linda’s mom made us plenty of food and Linda put together a great game of minute to win it. We had 5 different games to compete in and they got pretty intense. Hakki, our coach was even on one team.. a bit unfair because he practices these games on a daily basis! My team ended up coming in second but we are ready for a rematch at the next sauna night. Kokkola cup came to town and we worked quite a bit. Our job was to sell stuff from the tournament in the cup shop, a little trailer outside the field. I also worked one day in the kitchen. At tournaments in Finland it’s common for the teams to stay in local schools instead of hotels. In a few of the schools they served the kids their meals, where we were assigned to help out. We had our first beach day of the year and couldn’t seem to escape the paparazzi. We met at the beach with a few of our teammates for some beach volley and a little picnic. The weather was nice but a bit windy.  Brooke, Monica, Krista and I have booked a trip to London next Monday. We have tickets to the Women’s Soccer Final at Wembley and hopefully will get a chance to see another event.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat"

Sorry I have left you hanging for a little while. The last two weeks we have put on a much better display of how we can play. Prior to our break we were winning the games but I felt we hadn’t played to our best ability. In trainings we collectively decided that we need to pick up the intensity if we want to reach our goal of finishing first in our league. Our first game back was against FC Sport, the team that was trailing us by 3 points. The weather was pretty bad but we were ready. In the first half we had a few chances that we were unable to finish. We knew we needed to come out strong in the second half and finish the chances we got. Ten minutes through the first half we were able to score three goals. Sport fought back and were able to finish a rebound before the game ended, 3-1.

Last Saturday we traveled to a neighboring city, Jacobstad, to face FC United. We knew going into the game they were going to have a couple league players with them but we didn’t let that interfere with our mindset.  We came out strong and scored two quick goals. The second goal came off a nice cross from Tiia that found Linda’s head just inside the box which she was able to chip over the keeper. We went into the break 4-0. I thought we moved the ball pretty well and created a lot of chances for each other. The final score was 7-0. I hope we will continue to improve as a team and keep working hard in practice. We have only 3 games left before the final part of the season begins. We have the weekend off and are back at it again on Monday for a week’s worth of training before our game next Saturday.

Other news in Kokkola.. the weather has been awful! We had one nice week that had a beach day or two but unfortunately we didn’t go due to soccer. Now we are in the low 60s with rain all week! Finnish summers are awesome I tell you! Monday our fitness coach really took jogging to the next level. After about 2 miles, 8 hill sprints up a MOUNTAIN, 2 miles to some pond, swam and jog back we finally made it out alive. Not to mention the 50 mosquito bites that were acquired. Looking back it was a good workout and a pretty cool place to run through.. but I wouldn’t suggest to do it again anytime soon!