Monday, October 27, 2008

Perseverence Paying Off Perfectly

A great weekend for the College of Saint Mary Flames. We defeated conference rival York 2-0 and the University of South Dakota 1-0. The York game was moved to Ralston High School's artificial surface after our game field endured a weeks worth of rain. Versus York, we played a complete game with both goals coming in the second half within minutes of each other. The first goal was created and finished by Daniela "D" Padilla and the second was finished by Melissa King from a cross by Daniela. That was Daniela's last regular season home game for the Flames--she is our lone senior. Molly "Mojo" Jones recorded her first solo collegiate shut out.

On Sunday we drove through gale force winds on the way to Vermillion, South Dakota to play the NCAA division one 'Yotes on their field in front of the Dakota Dome (see pic.) The trainer at USD told me that the winds were howling at 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph. In the locker room inside the Dakota Dome before the game I addressed their concerns about the wind. I basically said, yes--it is ridiculous that we have to play in these conditions but we don't have any control over the weather. However, we do have control over how we react to the weather. I told them not to freak out about it but play smart and remember there are advantages and disadvantages to having the wind at your back and in your face. They must have really taken it to heart cuz we went out there and won 1-0!

The local paper wrote about the game and even quoted me in the story. We didn't make the silly mistakes that we have made too often this season. We capitalized on our opportunities and remained mentally strong when experiencing adversity. Jessica Alexander had a great goal--she got the ball up into the wind and it was very difficult for the keeper to deal with. That is great for Jessica--she had been shooting some awesome shots in practice and it was good to see her get one on Sunday. Against the wind in the second half, we came out the first 5 minutes and played a little keep away with the 'Yotes in their half. I think they weren't expecting that and they became a bit disheartened. USD was able to get off 23 shots for the game, but nothing that Jackie Swanger and the defense couldn't handle. Jackie recorded her first solo collegiate shut out also.

We beat a good opponent at their place under extreme conditions and we did it not by being lucky, but by playing good, solid soccer. I am very proud. All we need to do is build on it, step by step.

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