Aug. 22, 2012
It's finally everyone's favorite time of year again. That's right! Football season has officially commenced, and no, I'm not talking about American football (but good luck to Team 133 on September 1st!). Rather, I am writing to you three weeks into the Michigan women's soccer Team 19 campaign where we just came off our first weekend with a 2-0-0 record.
The 2012 preseason was in many ways just like the previous three that I've partaken in where fitness tests and three-a-days can be found in abundance and ice baths start to feel warm. But each year brings changes, too. The team is always a bit different and this year is no exception. We have the biggest team since I've been at Michigan with 29 players. Of those 29, just three were on the roster during my freshman season.
There are firsts every year, as well. We have never started off with two wins right out of the gate during my career here. We have never competed the way we did this preseason and this weekend. We've also never started our season by missing several key players, including Nkem, Shelina and Christina, who are halfway around the world representing their countries at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Best of luck to all three, by the way!
I'm no different to changes and firsts. Sitting out the majority of the last two seasons was tough, but for the first time since my freshman season, I'm back on the pitch for good and I plan on playing the whole season. I also find myself on the other side of the ball now, mostly playing on the back line. It is a bit different from my days as a forward back in 2009, but I guess I'm doing okay back there, or so my teammates and co-captains Clare and Haley think. They vouched for me to be the team's nominee for the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award. Haley was awesome in goal and could have probably won the award herself, so for her and Clare to think of me really meant a lot. While I'm happy I won the award, it's something I can share with the entire team. Those two wins over the weekend wouldn't have been possible without everyone on the team battling and playing hard for 90 minutes.
Our team has come a long way. We now welcome change and fight through adversity. Despite countless injuries over the past few seasons and the many new faces, everyone is stepping up. These difficulties have become opportunities for our team, not challenges. I look forward to the many more opportunities we have to do something special this season.
Until next time,