March 24, 2014
Following each road game during U-M's inaugural season, a different Wolverine will provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at Team One's on and off field experiences away from home. Fans can follow the team on the road with this interactive Google Map, which will be updated with recaps, photos and more, along the way!
In the fourth edition of the Team One Travels blog, Sophie duPhily provides the inside scoop on U-M's trip to Happy Valley to play Penn State and what got the team through 14 total hours on the bus.
This weekend's trip to Penn State marked the halfway point in our season. Although we didn't come out with the win, it served as a great learning experience and our team is focused on the fact that playing top teams is one of the best ways for us to improve. The opportunity for us as Team One to play Penn State, an ALC conference opponent and future Big Ten rival, was really exciting. Plus, who doesn't love seven-hour bus rides? The long trek to Happy Valley was eased by our director of ops/team dad, Alec Zimmerman, who figured out how to get some awesome March Madness and lax action on the TVs on the bus. After arriving, Coach Ashley Jackson (aka Cash$) got our legs going in warm-ups and we were able to have a productive pre-game practice in perfect lax weather.
Next up, game day. After a hearty breakfast and lots of pre-game preparations, we took the field and battled against Penn State. Everyone was pumped, including the parents, who started a "We Are ... Team One!" chant in the stands. How awesome are they? Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the win but we battled hard and a lot of players stepped up.
Once again, our all-star parents rolled out a gourmet tailgate highlighted by Mr. Sutor's authentic Maryland crab soup and Natalie Carti's grandmother's cannolis, which made Coach Valore extremely happy -- and Coach Ashley extremely nervous (for our sake). Goalie Allison Silber provided the entertainment for the first part of the bus ride home with her recently acquired Frozen DVD. Alec and one of our managers, Zach Paiva, bit the bullet on that one.
Overall, it was a trip full of learning and team bonding. So, I feel the only appropriate way to end this Penn State travel blog is by leaving readers with these thoughts:
WE ARE lucky to have such awesome parents.
WE ARE all becoming cannoli lovers.
WE ARE 27 freshmen continuing to grow.
WE ARE proud to continue to fight and represent Michigan.