We left after classes on Friday to head out on our first road trip of the year. Our first stop was Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Going in to the game, we knew that it would be tough. Currently they are first in our region and 13th in the country.
In our pregame speech, Jay stood in front of us holding a piece of paper with the word “impossible” written on it. He explained that no one else expected us to win, so we were definitely the underdog. Although he and Coach Chisley knew we could, other people did not. Not only were we playing a higher ranked team, but we were playing on the road at their house on their opening day. I don’t know about the rest of the team, but personally I love being the underdog. I love exceeding people’s expectations and doing what is considered the impossible. Anyways, Jay continued by telling us all we need is one simple line to change the entire meaning of the word. He drew in a contraction between the “i” and the “m” to make the word say “I’m possible.” Just like that one simple line, all we needed to do was play our game. Just a few simple strung passes, winning every 50/50 ball we could, one nice cross, all would lead to one simple finish. All we needed for the win was to make that simple line, that simple finish, to change the meaning of what we were set out to do. We were not set out to achieve the impossible, because all of us have the ability to make it possible.
So we did.
Mary-Taylor Kersey found Anne Mitchell in the 22nd minute for her to score her first goal of the year off of an amazing shot from 20 yards out. Later that half, with six minutes on the clock, Megan Rueth found the back of the net to allow the Lady Colonels a 2-0 advantage at half. The second half began and the Colonels maintained control for most of it, having Alex Combs cap the scoring off in the 72nd minute with a beautiful shot to the upper 90. We went on to win 3-0. In goal, we had Megan Foley and Holly Hilton split time with Hilton making two saves and Foley one.
The win was exciting and fun, however, we still had another team to accomplish for the weekend: Rose Hulman. We enjoyed our Olive Garden dinner, but once we were done we got back on the bus to continue onward from Cleveland to Terre Haute, IN. Finally at almost one in the morning, we arrived in Terre Haute at our hotel and immediately went to bed. We woke up and had breakfast and study tables. At noon, we got back on the bus to head to Rose Hulman to get taped and begin our pre-game rituals.
Coming off of a solid win against Case, we were the favorite to win the game. In the 27th minute, Alex Combs had a free kick just outside of the box. On a deflection off of the other team, Combs recorded yet another goal in her third straight game of the season to put the Colonels on the board and up 1-0.
Eight minutes later, the Colonels committed a foul in our penalty area giving the Engineers a penalty kick. The game was tied 1-1. From then on the game was deadlocked at 1-1. We had 10 corners to their 1, but for whatever reason, we could not seem to score off of a dead ball that game. We out shot the Engineers 25-2, but could not find a ball to go in. With 1:06 on the clock, Mary-Taylor Kersey managed to get a shot off 25-30 yards out and it went in. We went on to win the game 2-1. The Centre defense, led by keepers Megan Foley and Holly Hilton, only allowed two shots the entire game, and none in the second half. They are solid and have truly helped our driving offense thus far.
I call us resilient because in my three years, this is the most resilient team I have played for at Centre. We are not content with a tie or going into overtime. This team has found a way two times in four games now, to make a difference in the closing minutes of the game. We just do not stop. Whether we are down one against JCU and come back in the final 11 minutes to score twice and win, or we see the clock quickly ticking against a team we have had 24 shots on and score in the final minute, we do not give up. We have shown that it truly takes just one shot, one chance, one opportunity to make a difference in this game. What matters is the attitude and the effort that we have put in since summer work outs through preseason and to present day. We have shown we do not give up, we have proven we are a resilient team, and with our attitude thus far I think it is safe to say we have an exciting season in store for us.
Our next game is again on the road against Hanover, another in-region Top 5 team. It should be an exciting game.