Sept. 17, 2001
This being the first of what I hope will be many entries in this journal, Iwould like to take a little time to tell you about myself, the author andvoice for this Husky men's soccer squad.
My name as you might already know by the title of this article is ZachKingsley, a name rich in history, a name spanning all the way back to thefirst settlers of this amazing and dynamic country. You see, I am anancestor of William Bradford, the first Governor of the original settlementmade off of the Mayflower, a boat that most say was full of dissenters andlunatics, but that I say was full of innovators and geniuses. One only hasto look to the achievement and glory this country has spawned to see thebrilliance of these pioneers of the new world.
Anyway, enough of the history lesson and back to my original agenda. I am asenior at this intrepid university majoring in one of the most disciplinedstudies offered, Anthropology. I have one father, two mothers, fourbrothers, and one sister. That is what I would call my immediate family. Thetwo mothers? Don't worry, it's from a divorce and a step family, perhaps notas juicy as you would like but a little more realistic. My hobbies includemusic of all kinds, acting, laughing, filming, talking, and traveling. Ialso have been known to play a prank or two on a teammate or two. I thinkthis is enough for now, and if you have any specific questions you needanswered you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, now on to what we've all been waiting for- Soccer!
We began our season with a little hiatus to the island known as England. Wewere to play five games there, not knowing that the first was to be the daywe stepped off the plane and the other four to follow the next week, oneright after the other in a four day fit. We found out soon enough and wereable to adjust quickly as we tied three, won one, and lost only one. Theteams we played were paid professionals on the reserve teams of their clubs.Their goals were to work their way up into the first team where they couldbe paid millions of pounds if they were successful (and that's worth morethan the dollar). As you can see, it's a little different in jolly oldEngland for a footballer (that's a soccer player over there) than it is inbloody America. But I guess there's always a price to pay for the luxurieswe have over here.
Anyway, on with the tour. Along with the football, we were able to see quitea bit of the country as well. We toured into Wales to see a castle that waspart of Longshanks (for all you Braveheart fans) forces, as well as a townthat was known for having the longest name in the world. And no, I am notgoing to try to remember it and write it down here for you, just know andunderstand that it is ridiculous.
We also were able to go to three English Premier League football matches(these are soccer games in one of the top leagues in the world). This was anamazing experience for the team. To see that soccer is so worshipped bypeople makes you want to play the sport even more. There was so much passionin these stadiums, something I have never seen in any other sporting match.The fans scream and shout the whole game, making songs up about the playersand treating the referees as if they were known enemies of the state. It waswhat the English might refer to as 'absolutely bloody brilliant!' We alsowere able to see quite a bit of London. Paying homage to such places asPiccadilly Circus, Covent Gardens, Lester square, Buckingham Palace, theTower of London and more. The trip was what I would call a success, a greatmix of soccer and touring that left me wishing I could stay but also gave meenough to know why I wanted to stay. It was smashing!
Upon returning from our trip abroad we had a week of practice and then itwas out to Connecticut to play a tournament. We were to play FairleighDickinsen, a team we didn't know much about, and University of Connecticut,last year's NCAA Champions and the No. 1 team in the nation at the time. Thefirst game was a slow moving battle. They sucked their defense into theirhalf and forced us to bring the attack to them while they settled for thecounter attack against us. We were a little taken aback, used to teams thatplay similar to us, attacking and defending in both halves. We were havingtroubles breaking through their defense, moving the ball back and forth tothe wings to try to create some space down the middle but it was toocompact. Then they scored on a counter attack, of course, and we were down1-0. Luckily, late in the first half Zac Tallman scored a header off of acorner kick to tie it up before we went into the locker room. That was theend of the first half.
The second half was a little different. FD wasn't able to stay as compact asthey had in the first half and consequently were opening up spaces in thedefense for us to attack. After about 15 minutes we went up on a throw inthat was flicked on by Bryn Ritchie to myself who trapped it down andscored, we were up 2-1. But it was not over yet. FD equalized 10 minuteslater on another counter attack type play. A couple slip ups in marking andthey worked it into our penalty box where a forward put in a well hit shotfrom a fairly tough angle, 2-2. And it would stay this way for the rest ofthe half. Then there was the sudden death overtime. This took us a total of3 minutes to end. The ball got put out to Billy Sleeth, who crossed it intoFD's penalty box where we had three forwards ready to attack the ball. GregFoisie was the one who got to it first, smashing in a brilliant header fromabout 15 out into the lower left corner of the goal. Absolutely bloodybrilliant! (as the English would say) We win our first collegiate game ofthe season.
UConn was a little different. They were a much more skilled team, attackingand defending as we do in both halves. They brought the game to us and wedid the same to them. Both teams having many chances to score. But only onedid. In the 6th minute of the first half a ball was crossed in by Ben Somozaand mis-headed out by a Connecticut defender right to Brett Weisner standingin the box, who hit it first time out of the air into the corner of theright side of the goal. An amazing goal by the freshman! And that was to bethe only goal of the night. Our second victory of the season in our secondgame. The rest of the game was won by great defensive pressure by the wholeteam and in specific by the back three, Bryn Ritchie, Seth Marsh, and ZacTallman. A great performance!
Then it was back for another week and on to a tournament down in Portlandwhere we were to play our dream crusher in the last two NCAA Tournaments,Indiana, and William and Mary from back east who we didn't know too muchabout. Well, the game against Indiana turned out to be a nightmare of sorts.The whole team from top to bottom playing far below our potential. We gaveup two PK's, which Indiana missed both of, and were not winning the 50/50battles with them. It was like we didn't even want to come out and play, abig lesson for us. A lesson that we usually need to learn early in theseason, that we must put out the hard work for our talent to be able to getus anywhere. We lost 1-0. Enough said about that. With that loss, we knew wehad to make things right on Sunday, and we did. We beat William and Mary 3-2with goals by Ben Somoza, Brett Weisner, and Seth Marsh. It was back toSeattle to get ready for the next week.
Had it not been for the terrorist attacks on our country two days ago wewould have had two games this weekend against Santa Barbara and Gonzaga, butthese have been cancelled and most likely will never be played. I don't havea lot to say about the tragedy with so much that has already been said,except that my heart goes out to the victims and their families and that allthis is just a complete disaster. It is something I can't quite understandand probably never will, how could anyone want to kill innocent people likethat? All we can do is take care of what we have and protect ourselves fromany future problems occurring. I guess that is for the government to decide.Anyway, on a more positive note, I look forward to more entries and hopethat I can increase an interest in the game I love to play! Take care, andif you have any questions or comments, don't be afraid to e-mail.