Aug 21, 2013
Every Wednesday throughout the 2013 season, captains Nkem Ezurike, Holly Hein, Meghan Toohey and Shelina Zadorsky will give the public an inside look at the University of Michigan women's soccer team through this blog, The Yellow Armband. In the first entry, Hein describes how the team is handling its lofty preseason expectations and how it plans to build on the foundation from previous teams.
Hello again everyone!
It’s great to be back with the Yellow Armband and even better to be back on the field with the 2013 University of Michigan women’s soccer team -- our season kicks off this Friday (Aug. 23) at 7:30 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Stadium! We’ve been preparing for our first match with the new squad for about two weeks now and with an experienced core of returning players, as well as an excellent group of freshmen, we have high expectations for the season to come.
This year, we find our team in a very different position than we were in last year at this time. Prior to the 2012 season, we saw the potential within our team and set high goals for ourselves, but remained the underdog. While we have again set our sights high internally as we look to win a Big Ten title for Michigan, we do so despite being a little more in the spotlight. We are entering the season ranked in the top 25 nationally and were projected to finish second in the Big Ten.
With this newfound recognition, we must return to the foundation that has been the driving factor in our ascent to title contenders. We must remember the basic principles of this foundation, “humility and perseverance,” as former captain Clare Stachel detailed in her final blog last season. We must recall where we HAIL from and recognize all the hard work that previous teams have put in that has allowed us to reach this point. Above all, we must remain committed, confident, prideful and ready to compete every day for the "block M" as we work toward the excellence it will take to become champions.
As we lean on this foundation, we also build on the tradition that has preceded us. This year, we strive to be “relentless” by always demanding the most out of each other and bringing intensity to whatever we are doing. Our new motto is evident in our practices, as they've been some of the most intense of my four years here. We’re looking forward to this philosophy carrying over into our matches this year as we start to build towards our first Big Ten title and more!
We hope to see all of our wonderful fans out there on Friday and at every home match this season. As always, Go Blue!