Monday, September 3, 2012

Taking it one day, one game at a time..

London was an amazing trip! Brooke, Monica, Krista and I were able to go to London for the Olympics. When we first got there we headed out to look for somewhere to watch the US Canada Women’s semifinals soccer game. We ended up at a pub in Camden Town. The game was crazy and we were freaking out, since we already had tickets to the finals and were hoping the US would be in it. They ended up winning the game in a dramatic fashion. The next day we got up and went to do some sightseeing around the city. We saw the normal touristy stuff.. Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace, and I had my first taste of the infamous fish and chips. Wednesday we headed down to Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus to do some shopping and just walk around taking everything in. Wednesday night we went to one of the Olympic viewing parties to catch a few of the events on the big screens.

Thursday was game day. We got up early in hopes to go walk around the Olympic Park before the game started. Unfortunately we were unable to get in since our venue (Wembley) was not inside the Park. Instead we went and met up with Ruben, a friend of mine from college who was representing Cape Verde in Athletics at the Olympics. Since he hadn’t been able to explore London at all yet we took him to Camden Town. I would refer to Camden Town as a mini New York City, all little vendors and food stands. We settled for some pizza and just relaxed. It was starting to get late so we parted ways and Brooke Krista and I headed towards Wembley. We got there pretty early and were able to watch the warm ups from the first row behind the US. It was pretty neat to see what they did and how they prepared for the game. When the game started the crowd was indescribable, over 80,000 fans, an Olympic women’s soccer record, going crazy. Our seats were behind the corner flag about 20 rows up and we had a good view of the field. The game was back and forth and hats off to Japan who at times looked even better then the US. Both teams created chances and it was an exciting game to watch. Although I’m not a huge Hope Solo fan (like Krista) I think she showed that she is the best GK in the world. After the game we stuck around for a little while in hopes for Krista to get Solo’s autograph. We ended up waiting at the wrong gate. A security man was yelling to us saying the bus was waiting and he could take us. We just thought he was being nice and started running off with him. It wasn’t until we were almost there that he walkie talkied to the bus saying he had 3 of the players and we would be there in a minute for the bus to stay. Brooke and I got nervous and babied out before we actually got put on the bus. It would have been pretty funny to see people’s reactions as us three walked on the bus. We got to see a couple of the players get on the bus but we missed the chance for autographs. All in all it was an amazing experience and we had a great time.

Our first game of our seven game playoff was against F.C  Sport. We were familiar with the way they play as they came from our series and we faced them two times already. We were able to get the three points in a hard fought match which we were able to come from behind twice to win 3-2. The nerves were visible and it was something we talked about moving forward.

The second game we traveled to Turku to play against a new side TuWe. We took the train and it was about a 5 hour travel. The game started and we created many quality chances. TuWe was also able to put on some pressure but our defense did a great job containing them. In the first half we were able to convert a penalty kick to put us up 1-0. In the second half TuWe scored to tie it up and the game finished 1-1. We were unable to convert many chances but that sometimes that’s the game.

Yesterday we had a game against Merilappi. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game as it was our third time playing against them this season. We are both in the same position in the table and are ultimately striving to reach the same goal. The game started off with both teams applying pressure. It was a physical game with many individual battles throughout. We got on the scoreboard first in the 15th minute. Linda played a perfect ball through to Tess and she was able to place the ball by the keeper. Going into the half we were leading 1-0. The second half started and we were able to put more pressure on their end. Merilappi tied the score at 1 off a missed clearance. I went to play a back pass and the forward deflected it towards goal. A runner came through and slotted it in to tie. Immediately we went ahead 2-1. Brooke and her infamous half field shot came in clutch. For the second time this season she scored off the kick off. Roomies always got my back! With about 15 minutes left to play Merilappi tied it again at 2 off a cross. Their midfielder slotted a ball across the box. We were caught watching with 2 unmarked players in the box. The game finished 2-2. The tie keeps us in a good position in the standings and we still are able to control our future. I felt that in yesterday’s game we played a little better then we have been and we can still continue to improve. Merilappi is a good side and playing a team three times is never easy. I look forward to the final 4 games and I think the team is ready to keep working hard for the remainder of the season. Check back next week for a new blog, I promise not to keep all you readers on edge like that again!

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