Nov. 4, 2009
Each Wednesday of the 2009 season, one of the Michigan women's soccer captains -- Jackie Carron, Alex Jendrusch, Amy Klippert and Kylie Neschke -- will give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the U-M program.
The Yellow Armband with Alex Jendrusch
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 -- Trick or Treat!
"Soccer is like Halloween -- lots of tricks and treats." -- U-M assistant coach Lene Terp during practice this past week leading up to our games against Iowa and Illinois.
The scene in Iowa -- besides endless cornfields -- was foggy, rainy and windy. This made our game on Friday night a lot trickier than we had expected. Aside from the weather, the way we were playing on the field was not the way we had practiced. We left the field late that night disappointed by the tricks of Mother Nature and the tricks we played on ourselves that led to the loss. The weekend was off to a rough start.
On Saturday we left Iowa and drove to Champaign, Ill. We arrived at the hotel and started to get ready for dinner. It was Halloween night, and while we might have been missing all the parties in Ann Arbor that our friends were getting ready for, we would not be discouraged! We walked across the street to dinner at TGI Fridays as a team … in costume. The costumes were mostly a product of hotel amenities, athletic gear, and Snuggies. It is safe to say that our team does not suffer from a lack of creativity. The personnel at dinner included a zebra, a leopard, a kitten, Regina George, Jesus, two ninjas, a mummy, Grandma Mercier, a cheerleader, a skier, Lindsey Thug, an anonymous Michigan super-fan, Lance Armstrong, the sun, another star, white trash, a pumpkin and a German soccer “playa.” Some of us also took up Taco Bell on their Halloween promotion and got a late night treat (Fourth Meal, anyone?): free Black Jack tacos!
It’s game day again and field conditions were tricky. The field was half grass and half mud, which makes running on it a lot harder on our legs. The other trick to this game was the physical height of the Illinois team -- they were huge! Where we usually beat teams in the middle of the field by winning headers, we struggled to win balls off punts and goal kicks. But we adjusted quickly and began to win a lot of second balls.
The sun was out and it looked like a perfect day to WIN! Neither the field conditions nor the monstrous height of Illinois defenders would stop our determination. Our defense shut down the Fighting Illini efforts in the back, and our offense came through for the win! Amanda Bowery sent a perfect cross in the box late in the second half, and despite my vertical disadvantage over the Illinois defender and goalkeeper, I headed the ball into the back of the net (Editors Note: She is not the team's leading scorer for no reason, folks). Now our team is not quick to pass up dessert or candy, but I think we can all say that winning was the best treat of the Halloween weekend.
Overall, it was a fun Halloween weekend and we came away with a W! Come watch our last game of the season -- and the last game of Amy Klippert and my Michigan soccer careers… so sad! -- this Sunday at U-M Soccer Complex at noon.