Kickin' It With Kendyl
Oct. 1, 2008
Friday night we were all excited to get out and play, the veterans on the team especially, who could still feel the sting of our 3-2 loss to the University of Utah last year. We arrived to our locker room early to get ready and focused. We knew that this would be a crucial game given that we were coming off our first loss of the season.
At our pregame meeting, Lesle reiterated the fact that we need to stay focused and start the game off strong. With that said, we headed to the field an army of white, ready to play.
One problem: We were supposed to wear purple.
When the realization came it was a mad dash to the locker room. I think it's fair to say it was the fastest anyone has gotten ready.
We ran back to the field with only 15 minutes to get warmed up. Although the jersey confusion set us back, I think it made us more focused and determined, which was evident within the first few minutes of the game. 'V' (Veronica Perez) gave us the lead early off a corner kick from Hannah Greig. Soon after, McKenna Waitley put another goal away to give us a 2-0 lead going into half. Utah was skilled and had a dangerous attack, but we sealed our win in the second half off another corner kick severed by 'V' and headed in by Kellye Joswick. The irony of scoring two goals off corner kicks (the first of our season) is that 24 hours before, Lesle was rolling her eyes at our attempts at finishing corners and free kicks. 'Go figure' was all that could be said.
With another win under our belt, we were feeling good going into Sunday's game. That good feeling translated into a goal right off the bat with a cross from McKenna finding the head of Kellye. However, that feeling soon wore off as Hawaii continued to attack and pressure us. By the end of the half, a sloppy defensive play by us resulted in a goal for Hawaii making the score tied at 1-1. We knew we weren't playing our game and our coaches made that clear.
As we were warming up to take the field we realized how many people showed up to support us. The atmosphere couldn't have been better. Our alumni were there supporting us, the band came to play and the fans were spilling over the bleachers in purple and gold. With so many people rooting us on, it gave us the boost we needed to come out and win the half.
The half was a hard battle with us dominating the majority of possession, but still not able to pull ahead. Although we were creating chances, Hawaii had a few scary breaks that were shut down by Alex Phillips in net. A late tackle by a Hawaii forward sent Hannah flying (literally) and out for the rest of the game. Although we were rattled by the loss of Hannah we kept composure and played on.
At the end of regulation time, we were still tied and headed for our first overtime of the season. Hawaii came out hitting long balls, determined to keep us out of their defensive third. The initial ping-pong play died down toward the end of the first overtime where we began to take back control, stringing passes together.
A hand ball in the box by Hawaii had our bench in uproar calling for the penalty. Seconds later when Hawaii gave up a foul 30 yards from goal, Amy was screaming, 'Don't give us that call!' obviously still mad about the missed handball by the ref. However, when J-Ro (Jenna Robison) sailed a ball past the keeper into the upper V of Hawaii's net to win the game, she quickly retracted her statement. The celebration that ensued is still a blur of screaming, jumping and hugging.
After our celebration on the field, we were met with more celebration off the field with family, friends and fans. We signed autographs, barbequed with the team and relaxed watching our men's team beat Gonzaga 2-1. At the end of the day, everyone was still in awe of J-Ro's amazing shot, unbeknownst to them that 72 hours before, Lesle was rolling her eyes at her attempts to hit a free kick.