Read the latest blogs from Mackenzie Ayer and Becca Cowles, members of the Tulsa Women's Soccer team.
Wednesday, October 22:
Long time no see! In this blog we will fill you in on our latest games versus ECU, Marshall, UAB and Memphis.
The last time we wrote to you we were getting ready to play ECU and Marshall. I feel like Friday night's game vs. ECU was one of those games you would see on ESPN Classic over and over again for its unbelievable end result. In my 17 years of soccer, I have never seen anything like it. Or felt anything so disappointing for that matter.
ECU was already a relentless opponent, as we expected. We knew they hadn't lost in conference up to this point but our team believed we had it in us to change this fact. As the match started, we took it to them. Both teams battled with a 0-0 score going into half time.
In the second half we wanted to create more opportunities to score. We had a few chances and so did they but it was still 0-0 at the end of regulation time. Overtime is definitely not something new to our team. Friday night was the third-consecutive game that has gone into double overtime for us. We know what it's like to hold a team to 0-0, and we know what it's like to fall in overtime...so we figured it was time for a win in overtime!
Let's just say the action came in the last 30 seconds of overtime. A corner was awarded to ECU. It was evident that this was going to be the last play of the game. To sum up the longest, most dramatic 30 seconds of my life......a corner kick was awarded to ECU. The ref stopped the clock with 15 seconds left. They took the corner and Kendall made a great save, but then their player was in the right place at the right time and put in the rebound. We were so upset. I better stop there because if I continue on I would break Rule 3, Part B, Section iii of the league handbook, but it was very disappointing. (Editor's Note: Rule 3, Part B, Section iii prohibits "Public criticism of or publicly disparaging statements about an opposing team, institution, contest official, staff member or spectator.)
It was a hard fought game on both sides. There is nothing you can do but fight until the very end. When it comes down to being that close, your ultimate goal is to win or at least get by with a tie. A loss like this feels like we were robbed. The good news is that we definitely know we can hang with the best in the conference. It was imperative to keep our heads up and look at the situation ahead of us, being Sunday afternoon against Marshall.
After what felt like the longest traveling day ever, we made it to the historic Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia late Saturday night. We finally started out pretty strong in this match and Alyvia Rogers scored the first goal, which put us up on the Thundering Herd 1-0. Unfortunately we had a lapse defensively and Marshall put in two goals before half. Going into the second half we knew we had to create more offense. We switched up our formation and we were able to create a few more chances. We even had six chances on corners. All the while, there was a pretty crazy amount of fouls in this game. I think the referee was a little yellow-card-happy. We had six yellows! In the end the final score was 2-1. This was very disappointing because yet again, we can beat this team. After the game it was off on another long traveling expedition....from Huntington to the airport in Charleston, W.Va., then to Atlanta and then finally back home to Tulsa. After three out of the last four games resulting in overtimes we were pretty tired to say the least and pumped to be playing at home again the next weekend.
Friday night versus UAB was a special night for TU Soccer. Our team played at 6 p.m. and the men played UCF after our game. Also, as many of you know this past weekend was parents weekend. It was great to see so many fans in the stands! We let UAB in the game early allowing them to score a goal off of a corner kick. We had to grind it out on the field for 77 more minutes until Jenn Kacergis made a great pass to Stephanie Johnson who placed it ever-so-nicely in the net!
Once again we took this game into double overtime (Sorry guys that you had to start your game so late!) We felt that since we had the momentum going our way, it was feasible to get a goal in the next 10 or 20 minutes of overtime. The final score ended with a 1-1 tie. One point is better than zero points.....but we want wins! There was not time to dwell. We had Memphis to focus on and we knew going into the game that they are regionally ranked and at the top of the conference.
Sunday rolled around with a very classic Oklahoma 20 mph wind causing some trouble. We went against the wind in the first half. Memphis, as expected, came out pretty hard and the help from the wind didn't make things easier on the defensive side. Excuses aside we made some errors and they were quickly up 2-0 in the first 12 minutes. Jenn Kacergis yet again came up with an awesome play to beat her defender and hitting a great shot past the keeper. We were making Memphis work at this point and pushing for another goal. Heading into halftime it was 3-1 but we were optimistic with our odds into the second half because we had the wind now.
Second half seemed to have our name written all over it because we came out strong! Maddie Jones made a run up the right flank and crossed a great ball into Hannah Taylor who put her sweet headgear to use and put the ball in the back of the net. The score was 3-2 and we had some serious momentum. Unfortunately, a few minutes later Memphis was awarded a free kick outside the box and they capitalized. That free kick pretty much took the wind from our sails. The end result was 4-2. Yet again, another top team in conference, and we were right there with them.
It's official, Becca and I are sick of writing about ties and losses. So we better win this Friday versus Southern Miss......or we just might go on strike from blogging until winning occurs! Okay just kidding...but seriously, three games left and we need to win out in order to have our best shot at the conference tourney!
Well thanks for checking in. Big weekend ahead with Southern Miss and UCF.
Mack #2 and Bex #12
Tuesday, October 7:
To Whom This May Concern... OUR FANS!!!
Our second weekend of conference kicked off in the beautiful, Houston, Texas. The Houston Cougars and the Rice Owls were our opponents. Our first hurdle was Houston. This is a team we've gone to overtime with the last three years in a row, so after another 90-minute battle we inevitably went to overtime once again. We were definitely feeling pretty tired after regulation, but our amazing team depth kept our engine running! We could tell they were exhausted and had hopes of finishing them off with in the next short, but what felt like forever, twenty minutes. We had some great chances, a few we should have put away...but in the end we ended up with a 0-0 tie. After playing 110 minutes we knew that rest for Saturday was a must.
Saturday morning we met for a jog and stretch and then had the day to ourselves. While some scurried off with family, others hung out for a few hours and then took an excursion to the infamous Galleria for shopping and lunch. After realizing our legs were too tired for shopping, naps and homework were next on the list. Our evening ended with a dine-in Olive Garden extravaganza at the hotel while watching our very own Homecoming TU Football game. Shout out and special thanks to all the parents that helped arrange this fun evening. Since our football team was demolishing the Owls and the team needed to get ready for Rice on Sunday, after the 3rd quarter we decided to call it a night and parted ways to our rooms. (Note, the coaches didn't make it this long, their long day of golf must have worn them out!!! Way to stick it out Jerry and Dr. Ayer)
Now for the Rice game. We started out strong, taking it to them for the first fifteen minutes, until the effects of heat and the 110-minute game Friday night were starting to show. Starting the second half down a goal we knew we had to kick into gear. The second half of the game was somewhat chaotic and it felt like we couldn't put anything together until senior Jenn Kacergis took it upon herself to dribble past half their team to get herself in the box and score an incredible goal!!! With everyone on their feet screaming, that play alone put us in a place to win this game. In the final minutes of this game we had some close chances that made the Rice fans close their eyes, but AGAIN we found ourselves in overtime. We had to dig deep and keep our intensity high going into the first overtime. We had Rice on their heels and we knew we could win. This game turned into a full out war on the field where both teams had great chances to end the game, unfortunately for us, with only 56 seconds on the clock in the second overtime, Rice had a quick counter and put a goal away.
Everyone's heads dropped as the pain of realizing this game slipped right through our fingers slowly crept in. We didn't get the outcome we had wanted in either game this weekend, but I have to say this was not just a weekend where our team tied and lost a game. This was a weekend where our team learned something about ourselves; where we fell hard, but can now take that anger and pain into North Carolina and West Virginia. Every weekend in conference is a battle and every game is a new game. Sometimes you have to fall hard in order to build the drive, passion and team character necessary to come together and win the same way we lost. For us, this was one of those weekends.
Be Ready for what's to come,
P.S. I (Becca) just want to give a personal shout out to senior Kendall Harclerode who was a brick wall in the goal and kept us alive through this game!
P.P.S. I (Mack) wish Becca Cowles a very happy birthday!!!!
Tuesday, September 30:
After a 10-day hiatus after the ORU game, the team felt ready to tackle our first conference weekend. UTEP and Colorado College were our first opponents at home.
For Friday night's game we had a beautifully decorated locker to start conference off right! (Compliments of myself, Becca, and the one and only, Hannah Taylor). The UTEP game started off fairly even and intense on both sides until UTEP slipped a goal in the back of the net 24 minutes in the game. After being down two at half we came out and finished a great diving header goal by Emily McElrath to make the score 2-1 and put us in the race. At this point we were pushing forward for a goal, but unfortunately UTEP was able to counter us with two more goals. Falling 4-1 to UTEP was a disappointment to say the least but the score in no way reflected our team's play. At this point looking to Colorado College was the next feat. Coach Cuz reminded us that we couldn't let this loss dwell in our minds because EVERY game in conference counts and we have 10 more! He reassured us that we could come out on Sunday with a W.
Sunday's 12:00 PM game was scorching hot! We had to find it in ourselves to get pumped up for this game because we weren't allowed to have music during warm-ups, introductions or the national anthem due to church services at the church next to the stadium. I'm debating whether or not we should use this "silent warm-up" tactic every game because we came out and took it to CC. At half we held them at 0-0, but we knew we were out-playing them. In the second half freshman Alyvia Rogers had a beautiful shot from the outside of the 18-yard box just out of reach for the keeper. From there we continued to hold them off and possess the ball. It was a good, hard-fought game and a solid win for us.
Splitting a weekend in conference wasn't what we hoped for but it is nothing to be ashamed of. It left us in the mix with the rest of the standings where all but two teams had one win and one loss. After a few hard practices this week we're off to Houston to battle Houston and Rice.
Hope to see you there!!!
Bex#12 and Mack#2
Thursday, September 18:
Wow it's hard to believe that the first half of our season is already over! The last couple days have been very busy for our team. Friday night was the start of the Tulsa Invitational hosted at our very own Hurricane Soccer Stadium. Middle Tennessee State was our first game and we did not play to our potential and were defeated 1-0. We learned from our mistakes and came out on Sunday with a big win over Arkansas State. We scored our first goal off a penalty kick from Sarah Greene and then a few minutes later Hannah Taylor scored a "once a life time" header goal. She sure is a beautiful forward. After she scored her second goal she sprinted over to the sideline to give her game ball to Becca Cowles, her favorite person ever. Then the final and most amazing goal was scored by Rachel Robinson upper ninety off a penalty kick. It was an exciting game and the best part was we won!!! Next up ORU!
ORU was an emotional and intense game! Coach told us at pre-game dinner that he had a surprise for us before the game started. We were guessing things such as parachuting onto the field, wild tigers jumping through hoops of fire, or maybe just maybe an inflatable blue tunnel to go onto the field with a smoke machine. Turns out the latter of the three was correct. Thanks Coach Cussen by the way for that exciting entrance and the new gold uniforms. The game started out slow, but as the second half began it started to pick up. ORU scored first, but soon after we got a goal. Moments later ORU scored again off a corner, but don't you worry; Hannah Taylor scored a left footed shot from the top of the box. The game went into overtime and ended tied. We all fought hard and made a comeback. I love this team!
Up next, UTEP and Colorado College, but we have nine days to get our minds and bodies right for the beginning of conference play.
Bex #12, Mack #2 and special guest, Hannah Taylor #20
Wednesday, September 10:
Welcome back soccer fans!
We realize it's been a while since our last post and we definitely have A LOT to fill you in on! Since we have last talked we've played Arkansas, Missouri State, McNeese State and Jackson State.
On Friday, August 29th the scene was set at the Lady Razorback's stadium for what was going to be a great night in the end for us. Great weather, under the lights and over 800 people in the stands! Can you say "WOW, it was awesome!". From the start of the first whistle Arkansas took it to us. The first 15 minutes of the game seemed like we were playing 90 mph, but once we settled ourselves down a bit we started playing our game! Junior Kayla Chambers slotted the ball in the back of the net in the 47th minute and we were so pumped! It was a hard fought battle all the way up until the last couple seconds of the match. Both teams had some great chances, but our team just wasn't going to let a goal in!
After Friday's win, we knew Sunday was going to be a true test. Afternoon games are like a trap...there is no nighttime atmosphere and it's hot! A second win on the road would have been amazing. Nonetheless, no excuses we should have won! Unfortunately we kicked it into gear a little too late. Missouri State was a very physical team and took it to us, as expected. We hung in there with them and competed hard, but Missouri State ended up winning 1-0.
Nonetheless we still split on the road which was still an achievement, but we still had a lot to work on in the week ahead. As this past weekend rolled around, turns out, due to Hurricane Gustav, we were going to have two home games! We had McNeese State on Friday night and Jackson State on Sunday. This was huge for us: an extra home weekend, no traveling and finally we'd play on our very own beautiful home field!
Friday started off right with a great goal by Hannah Taylor. I'd love to fill you in on the rest of the game but shortly after the goal I (Becca) had an adventure to the hospital. While the team continued to dominate with a 3-0 victory, I discovered I dislocated and broke my ankle, just enough to end my senior year. I was able to make it out of surgery alright and even got to see the first half of our game on Sunday which we dominated with a 10-0 victory! Though my injury is disappointing to say the very least, I am very proud of the team and still excited for the rest of the season ahead.
Hasta la vista, baby!
Bex #12 and Mack #2
Wednesday, August 27:
Well we have bad news and good news, though most of you already know this because you are our biggest fans! To start, due to rain our Friday game was moved to Saturday, which meant little recovery time between our first two games. Bad news first, Saturday we fell 2-0 to Northwestern. It was a hard-fought game where we created seventeen chances to their nine, unfortunately the post and some of their players got in the way of our opportunities. Disappointing loss to say the least, but one way Mack and I like to think of it is, we got the nerves out, our first game was over and we have nineteen more games to go.
Sunday's game was a different story. We started off well with a goal in the first few minutes off a corner from junior Hannah Taylor. As the game went on we managed to put away a total of 10 goals, five in each half. It was great to see some of the freshmen add to this rally as well as players that got their first collegiate goals. The best part was that we scored more goals in this game than our last fall season! Yay us!!!
Louisiana was definitely a great bonding trip. The eight-hour bus ride wasn't as bad as expected (Hmm, that could be because classes hadn't started yet so we didn't have to worry about homework!). Since our game was moved from Friday to Saturday we had the chance to experience a little bit of `the south' in the Cane River National Heritage area in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Cane River area is a historic area with lots of unique shops and restaurants. I was a little upset we didn't get to check out the Alligator Park but nonetheless, we had fun. One of our team dinners was at a neat little restaurant on the river called `The Landing'. Southern sweet potato fries and bourbon chicken were a new experience for Becca and I! (Kendall, how about that Seafood Pasta? Haha!).
As many of you know, (especially parents) school is in full swing! Woooo! Our little fishies seem to be adjusting and balancing their schedules well and all of us old timers are ready to tackle a new semester. It's good to see campus packed with students again! (minus the limited parking part)
Well we have a lot of work to do this week to prepare for Arkansas and Missouri State, hopefully we'll see some of you there, if not don't forget to follow on GameTracker!
Thanks for checkin' in,
Bex #12 and Mack #2
Wednesday, August 20:
Konichiwa, (hello in Japanese)
Fans! We have bad news for you, today is our last daily blog! Please hold your tears. Today being the last day of preseason we had our practice at 10:30 a.m. where we simply worked on set-plays, corners and some shooting. Practice was light and fun, and let's not forget when the upperclassmen demolished the freshmen in soccer baseball! Props to Sarah Greene with her clutch catch in the outfield.
Really the best part of today was when the freshmen finally performed the much-anticipated annual freshmen dance. Every year the freshmen class has to create a dance using the lyrics to our TU fight song to a melody of any hit tune. This dance is the then performed at any time of request by upper classman during the season. I know, we're so mean!!! They performed the "Tulsa Shuffle" it was cute and clever, good job fishies, can't wait to see it performed 100 more times! (Unless they are as clever as my fellow senior class, shout out to Jennifer and Kendall, greatest escape ever!)
We hope you've enjoyed our daily updates, no worries; we'll keep you updated on a weekly basis!
We Luvs You!
Bex#12 Mack #2
Tuesday, August 19:
Today we played soccer...shocking, we know! We started our first training session with a possession game, adding in a few touch restrictions. The rest of the practice consisted of full out 11v11. The coaches want us to become as comfortable as possible playing together before our first game Friday.
Our second practice was moved up to 3:00 p.m. today so our time between practices was limited to lunch, training room and back out to the field. This practice we continued from where we left off with 11v11. The coaches just wanted us to be able to play with little interruption to again continue to become comfortable with each other and our formation.
Not too much to report for the rest of the day. Currently we're just watching the Olympics wondering when gymnastics is over! No offense to all our gymnast fans! With our upcoming road trip to Louisiana (yes, that's 9 hours on a bus with 20 girls) I'm sure we will have tons of stories to report back to you!
Mack #2 and Bex#12
Monday, August 18:
Sunday, August 17:
We know that you have probably spent most of your day upset, wondering where the TU women's soccer blog has been. No fear we are here! Saturday was our first parent's weekend to kick off the season. It was a busy day to say the least, but very exciting. At 9:00 a.m. we had an open practice where many family and friends, as well as alumni came to watch. After the practice everyone was welcome to join us for a nice pasta lunch (with some amazing ice cream cake!) in the presidential suite at the Reynolds Center. It was nice to see all the support of the parents and to find out that people are actually reading this blog!! Yay Us!!!
To wrap up the lunch, Coach Cuz introduced the staff, team and families and gave the down low for raising money for our program! I, Becca, am ecstatic for the team to go to Spain next year, AFTER I graduate!!! (Mack and I are already preparing a plan to smuggle me in her suitcase!)
We ended our parent's weekend with an inner-squad scrimmage! The atmosphere was very game-like with the lights, refs and announcers. The score was tied at half until sophomore Kelly Ricker launched a bomb to put the gold team up 1-0. Overall, it was a great day and hopefully the parents enjoyed their visits as well.
This week is very exciting yet nerve wracking due to the anticipation of our first game this Friday. As upper classman and many of you alumni know, the first weekend is always one of the most important to start things off on a good note. We're pumped to give the NSU Demons and Southern Jaguars a run for their money!
Keep it Classy Tulsa,
Bex #12 Mack #2
P.S. Congrats to Brandi's boyfriend, Michael Phelps, on his eight gold medals and seven world records...now we know where you steal all your inspirational quotes from!!! ("blogged ya" no more complaining!)
Friday, August 15:
Friday!!! The start of our day consisted of another nice little 8:00 a.m. jog to get our blood flowing and minds working. Today we only had one practice at 10:30 am! This practice entailed some of the same defensive drills from the night before. After a pep talk and/or wake up call from Coach Jim, the team finally pulled it together and started playing with the same intensity as last night. After all of our work on defense from the last couple practices, I am excited to see how it applies to our scrimmage on Saturday night. Speaking of the scrimmage, everyone is excited for the big day Coach Cuz has planned for us Saturday. Friends and family were invited to come watch practice in the morning, enjoy lunch with us then later cheer us on during our inner-squad scrimmage. It's crazy to think that a week from today we will be playing our FIRST GAME! Exciting stuff.
Now for the Golf fundraiser down low! For starters, senior Allie Rapp said that it was a great time. Bubba Cunningham and Ross Parmley both attended the tournament, along with a number of Mr. Taylor's friends! Though Mack and I could not attend, I'm sure it would have been a great experience! Oh and Coach Cuz, even though Mack wasn't there to dominate you, she expects a rain check. Coach Jim had the privilege to play with our team's BIGGEST fan, Rob Laird, a TU men's golfer! Rob, being the generous man that he is, let Allie putt for par. Allie's moment of Glory! YAY Al Pal!
Well TU fans...until tomorrow... How about that Michael Phelps?!!
Bex #12 Mack #2
Thursday, August 14:
Although the day off was nice, we started at 8:00 a.m. sharp with a nice jog around campus, warming up our legs in preparation for our 10:30 a.m. session. During this session we focused on defense. Shifting and covering for each other were emphasized along with the most important aspect, communication. Overall it was a solid session!
During our break some of us were able to experience "Media Day" with the men's soccer team, the first time for women's soccer! This entailed a number of our awesome Media Relations peeps along with our Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham and our Associate Athletic Director Ross Parmley, (who is probably the coolest boss,) as well as the Tulsa World, Cox Cable, Fox and Channel 6. Our team and the men's team competed in a few soccer challenges along the media. We played juggling soccer tennis and a shooting drill for points. I was really pretty impressed with the efforts of the non-Tulsa soccer players! One of my favorite memories of media day was when Jen Kacergis hit a shot that ricocheted off the cross-bar and nailed a camera man right in the face!
As for our 6:30 p.m. session, we played an exhausting defensive game with keepers and then moved into a transition game of 4v4v4v4v4v4 to goals. The game was very intense with a high amount of energy that pleased the coaches. I'm happy to say that a shot by Shannon Locke was deflected directly to my face and ended the session! I'm sure many of you are concerned for my well being, but I'm proud to say that I "wore it" well!
Tomorrow is our Golf Fundraiser! (let's be honest...it's basically an excuse for the coaches and Jerry Taylor to golf!) A bunch of the girls are going to help out after our 10:30 a.m. session, which should be a lot of fun!
Mack #2 and Bex #12
P.S. Coach Cuz - I (Mack) challenge you to a duel on the driving range tomorrow, bring your "A" game!
Wednesday, August 13:
Week 2, Day 3. Today was a day for the team to physically and mentally recoup. Many of us started the day off in our second home, the training room. After the treatments we headed out to Incredible Pizza. It was...how can I put this...incredible. After our team dominated the buffet, we were ready to play some games and win some tickets. I know I can speak for the team when I say that my inner child definitely came back to life with the massive amounts of games and my personal favorite, go-kart racing. Courtney Chadney and Kendall Harclerode were beasts behind the wheel, tying for first place. At the other end of the spectrum, Coach Jim might have amazing soccer skills, but his go-karting skills are sub par to say the least.
Allie Rapp and I managed to find our niche - shooting dinosaurs - in our own booth all the while not letting any kids in and managing to beat the game after a good solid hour. Once we walked out of our own little world we found Rachel Robinson and Jen Kacergis right where we left them, shooting hoops and making new friends.
The freshmen were being freshmen and wandering around aimlessly, we love them! Three hours later...Yes let me repeat 3 HOURS LATER, a bunch of us combined our tickets and totaled a whopping 3,000, and though Allie wanted to give them to a child we ended up leaving with a bunch of miscellaneous items, Mack and I are most excited for the "Big Giant Disc!" (Whatever that is!).
After being there half the day, it was defiantly time to leave! The rest of the day was up for grabs; some people went back to the training room while many others resided in their beds.
Hopefully our muscles are well rested because our next three trainings are very important. We're excited for another day in Paradise!!!
P.S. Patrice, we're sorry you got a parking ticket because SOMEONE stole your spot! I'm sure Jim and Coach Cuz will spot you!!!
Tuesday, August 12:
"We are what we repeatedly to, excellence therefore, is not an act, but a habit." Quote of the day from one of our freshmen, Becca Riner. That quote was the base of both our sessions today. Reminding us that our excellence should be a habit not something we should be reminded to do in trainings.
This first session we continued to work on technique, dribbling at defenders and using/knowing the different skills to get around them. We then expanded into a larger game to goals starting with 1v1 and then eventually into 3v3. You could see the fatigue in our legs but we still battled through.
After our training session we did our daily cafeteria run and made our way to the training room for treatments. Coach Cuz and Coach Jim made an appearance in the `caf' to "eat lunch with us" but they stood us up and sat at an all coaches table, how rude!
Tonight we had our second 11v11 scrimmage. We are still trying to find a formation that fits with our team, but we need to take one practice at a time and eventually this will happen.
Tomorrow we are pumped for a little team bonding excursion to Incredible Pizza. For all those who haven't experienced Incredible Pizza, it's "Chuck E Cheese on steroids" as Coach Cuz said. Junior, Courtney Chadney is by far the most excited for this outing. She might just burn more calories challenging Jim in DDR than she would in practice. We look forward to filling you in on the action!
Hasta la Pasta!!!!
Mack #2 and Bex #12
PS. Coach Cuz's joke of the day:
Coach: Do you know of any veterinarians in the area?
Becca and I: ummm...no..
Coach (while he flexes his muscles): ...because these pythons are SICK!!!
Yeah, we have to deal with him on a daily basis. :)
Monday, August 11:
Week 2, Day 1, finished... This morning was a repeat of last Monday with the fabulous Creighton Fitness test. Once again, congrats to the girls who passed it today even after a week of preseason under our belts! Shout out to all the alumni who know how our bodies are feeling right about now!!
As we moved into our 10:30 a.m. session we reminded the team that staying positive and playing hard was crucial, getting lazy was not an option. I have to say, the weather has been one miracle from God! Overcast and rainy, and not even that humid...it has been nice to say the least; it was actually kind of chilly! Who would have thought Tulsa, Oklahoma in August could ever be "chilly." This session we again focused on combo play, starting very simple and expanding into a few other drills, all trying to prepare for 11v11.
Tonight was our first 11v11 session and everyone was very excited to play full field. Somehow our bodies managed to battle through a full 90-minute game, yay us! The coaches emphasized that it was very important to incorporate all that we have been working on this past week such as attacking the middle of the field and finding the splits. As of right now we definitely still have lots to work on. As Coach Cuz said "well... it wasn't horrible." I think we all had to laugh at that considering we had the Creighton Test and it was our 3rd session of the day. We know that the benefit from all of our hard work will pay off in the long run. Just another day in paradise!
Your favorite bloggers,
Mack #2 and Bex #12
Sunday, August 10:
Hi Loyal Blog Fans,
The day off was great! As Coach Cuz said "Even God made time to rest on the 7th day!" Well there isn't too much to report to you today since it was our day off. I know I can speak for everyone on the team when I say it felt AMAZING to sleep in and finally eat a real breakfast other than granola bars or bagels! After some much needed sleep most of the team headed over to the training room to keep up with treatments; cold whirlpools, heat packs and lots of stretching were in full force.
Across the board everyone did their own thing after the training room. Some went to church, cleaned their apartments, relaxed or watched the Olympics. A few of us went and enjoyed a little chick flick, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. After the movie we came up with the brilliant idea of making our own traveling team sweatpants. It will be a fun new tradition that will be made and passed through each class throughout the season adding inside jokes and fun little tid-bits from everyone.
Stay tuned for reports of Week 2 of preseason, and we wish the best to all the sports that are starting their preseason tomorrow!
Bex#12 Mack #2
Saturday, August 9:
All we have to say is....DAY OFF TOMORROW! Hooray!
Today was a solid day! The focus of our 10:30 a.m. training session was on heading, my favorite! Becca and I agree that we definitely had headaches after the session though. After a few warm up heading drills we worked on a fun little crossing and finishing drill. Shout out to Emily McElrath for a money diving header that was so good we just had to end practice. Coach Cuz has a goal for us to be one of the best heading teams in Conference USA. We think this is a very attainable goal if we put our "heads" to it!
After we chowed down on some grub we all basically hung out in the training till our next session, which was moved up to 4:30. (a.k.a. we think Jim and Coach Cuz had hot dates tonight)
Our last session again started with heading! As the headaches got worse the heading got somewhat better, still room for much improvement. We then broke out into a very competitive 5v5v5v5v5v5... haha again we have 30 players if that on-slaught of 5's worried you. It was the freshmen vs. upper classman, and though the freshmen put out a good fight, the upper classman came out with the victory. Well with our day off tomorrow we're all going to celebrate... by sleeping in our beds!!!
Bex #12 Mack #2
P.S. Its only day four and Jim already has "camp voice," meaning, no voice! Hopefully the day off will benefit him as well.
Day 3... complete! With our 8:00 a.m. session removed we kicked our day off at 10:30 a.m. sharp. After the last few days of focusing on technique, 1v1's, and simply the little details, this morning we worked on putting it all together with combination play. Yes, they made us think today. We first started with some passing drills and then moved forward with a fun game of 3v2 to goals. It was a solid session and I could really see the team starting to play together.
With a short hour break we were treated with some Subway, no "caf," which was a nice change of pace, and then continued on to Project Clean Slate in North Tulsa. There, we split up into a number of different jobs. Some of these jobs consisted of chipping paint off the house, painting furniture, prepping walls for paint, and sorting through clothes and other miscellaneous items (Em and Shannon you know what I'm talking about haha). It was good seeing the Coaches put to work for once. (Just joking we know you work hard!!!) Our team felt like we contributed so much for being there for only a few short hours. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was such a rewarding experience and an amazing thing to be a part of. Shout out to all those who have worked endless hours making this project a success, and we wish the best for Ruby and her family.
With only one session to go we had some down time and filled our tummies at dinner before we were back at it again. At 6:30 p.m. sharp we started with a passing warm-up drill and then broke out into four teams and played a few games of 7v7, again trying to build on what we've been working on this morning and of course incorporating the last few days as well. After a few hard fought games by everyone we had our cool down and called it a day. The level of play was intense and our coaches seem to be pleased with our work ethic and attitudes on and off the field.
To wrap up our day, Mack and I are enjoying some fresh blueberries, props to Mrs. Ayer, and getting psyched for Olympics 2008 after watching the man with the last leg of the torch run along the wall for what seems like an hour. All we want to know is, how do you get that job?!!!!???
Keep It Real... Keep it Fun... Keep it Real Fun!!!
Bex #12 Mack #2
What's Up Party People!
Day 2... Survivors once again. I know you all are saying to yourselves... Thank Goodness! The day started off 8:00 a.m. sharp with the "Hartwick". Again, if you would like to know what this entails I'm sure Coach Cuz would be more then happy to fill you in, I would give you his number but I don't think he'd appreciate that too much. (Though I do have the power coach... I know you control the conditioning). To give you an idea of what this is, it's a fun little mixture of foot skills and fitness for about 45 minutes. Great way to start the day!
Moving on with the day, session number two consisted of 1v1's and skills. We not only worked on taking defenders on, but also getting our body in-between the defender and the ball to ensure we can keep possession.
After 10:30 a.m. training we thoroughly enjoyed the cold whirlpool and of course had a delicious lunch at the "caf." I think the girls will agree with me when I say that the 4-hour break felt AMAZING on the legs. By the time our third session rolled around we were as well rested as we could be. Tonight we played three 7v7 games. (Shout out to the yellow team for utter domination!) Overall it was a good, hard practice. We focused a lot on the 1v1 skills we perfected earlier in the day.
The team was relieved after our last session when coach informed us that we had earned the 8:00 a.m. practice off tomorrow morning because of our work ethic these past couple days!! Hallelujah! Tomorrow our team is also very excited that we have the opportunity to be part of something that is very special. We are going to be pairing up with The University of Tulsa freshmen football players to take on an extreme home make over project for a friend of The University of Tulsa who is in need of our help! We can't wait. It's great to see that Channel 8, the Tulsa World and a videographer from ESPN also intend to do stories. So tomorrow night you might just see the Tulsa Women's Soccer Team "doin' work" on your nightly news.
Other news other than soccer related, we feel that each training session is bringing the team together more and more. This is definitely something that is going to be important throughout the season. Becca and I can now say we know all 15 of our little "fishies" names!!!
That pretty much sums up our day, we look forward to Day 3 of training tomorrow!
Mack #2 and Bex #12
Ps. Jim, great demos today. You have amazing skills.
Great news, we survived the first day of preseason! We now have Day 1 under our belt...and 15 more days left until our first game on August 22! The team worked so hard today. The day started at 8:00 a.m. sharp with the Creighton Fitness Test. If you would like to know what this fabulous test entails please feel free to contact anyone on our team and I'm sure they would love to give you the lowdown. We have to warn you though; it's brutal to say the least! Props to all the girls who dominated it!! (Oh, and a shout out to the chronically injured who dominated the test in the pool!)
Training numero dos consisted of mostly technical training, focusing purely on skills and technique. Coach CUZ and Coach James (here's your shout out) stressed the importance of perfecting the little details, such as passing, receiving, touch and movement off the ball.
After quality cafeteria food, ice baths and our weight room "orientation" with our Strength Coach, Coach Paul, we finally had a little down time (let me emphasize the word little...as in two hours) Regardless, it was much needed nap time!
Our last practice of the day was at 6:30 p.m. The upperclassmen warmed up with a fun little game conducted by Coach James (here's your second shout out) while the freshmen made a trek to pick up a soccer goal from another field. Later we split up into teams and played a possession game. Finally we got to scrimmage 7v7. Becca and I were very impressed with the quality of play and competition level after such a long, hard day. Hopefully we can bring the same intensity tomorrow morning!
Seeing how it's closing in around 11:00 p.m., it is definitely time for us to get some sleep. Eat, sleep, soccer, soccer soccer soccer, eat, sleep, soccer!!!! And we love it!
After awhile crocodile!
Bex #12 and Mack #2
Hello again TU Soccer Fans!
Today started with our first team meeting with the coaches. The meeting was very positive and upbeat. Coach Cussen made it clear that our team has the talent to achieve great things this season, which is what will take us to our ultimate goal of making it to the NCAA tournament. As upper classman we know that this is easier said than done, meaning giving 100% on the field and taking care of ourselves and each other, is key. Uniting as a team these next few weeks is what will separate us from our competition.
After the Coach's inspiring speech we were quickly brought back to reality with a talk from our Athletic Trainer slash Godsend/team savior, Gretchen Altevogt. We were reminded of the importance of eating and staying hydrated, and most importantly, how the cold whirlpool will become our best friend these next few weeks!
Moving on with our day we were spoiled with some awesome gear to start the pre-season off right! P.S. (which means post script for all those who didn't know) THANKS COACH!
Our last meeting of the day was with our Associate Athletic Director, Crista Troester, discussing NCAA compliance. To make a long story short, we felt like we signed our lives away due to the amount of NCAA paperwork that needed to be completed with our John Hancocks!!!
To finalize the day, our last get-together with the team before Day 1 of training, we feasted at Spaghetti Warehouse. The dinner consisted of lots of giggles and jokes that left Mack and I, and the rest of our table in hysterics. Somehow, after eating half my meal, I ended up with a full plate of spaghetti.... Hmmmm I wonder where that came from Hannah Taylor???
We hope to survive tomorrow to write our loyal fans once again!
Bex #doce and Mack #dos
Becca and Mack's FIRST Tulsa Soccer Blog!!!!!!
Hey TU Soccer Fans!
Well to start things off a blog wouldn't be a blog without the proper introduction. Myself, Mack Ayer, and my fellow teammate Becca Cowles are blessed with the wonderful opportunity of keeping you all informed with the great season we have ahead. I am a junior defender from Lake Quivira, Kansas and Becca is a senior midfielder "from the glorious state of Colorado" as she would say.
Today, August 4th, was the first day we all had to report to campus, and though some of our teammates have been in Tulsa all summer, Mack and myself had the pleasure, or better yet, the rude awakening of one hundred plus degrees!
To kick off the preseason we had a meet and greet with the team and our herd of incoming freshmen. After some introductions we've realized the name game may not be very effective on the first day. The seniors went over the tentative plans for the next few days and laid down a few guidelines for the season. Its great to see senior leadership at full force!
After our meet and greet we split up the group into three teams of eight and battled it out for the next two hours. It was so much fun playing with the returning players, but also great to see the incoming freshmen compete as well. The games were competitive but fun and no one got hurt!
Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day! We have a few meetings and physicals, and we get to pick up our gear (Myself and Becca's favorite part of preseason of course...just kidding Coach Cus!)
Well after day one it's time for us to get some rest. To our loyal TU Women's Soccer Fans, no worries, Becca and I will be keeping you updated every day throughout preseason so make sure to put a reminder in your Blackberry to check Becca and Mack's TU Soccer Blog daily.
Peace Out Girl Scout!,
Bex #12 and Mack #2
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