Kickin' It With Kendyl

Oct. 30, 2008

Coming off our first Pac 10 win, we all felt confident in keeping the trend going, starting with our games against Northwest rivals, Oregon State and U of O. We started the weekend off on Thursday with our journey down to Corvallis. Since we left early in the morning, the trip went relatively smooth with most people sleeping or doing homework. To break up the monotony of a four-hour drive, we decided to put on a movie. Coming prepared, Lesle had brought along such classics as the 'Gladiator' and 'Traffic', and our trainer Gwen threw in the cult classic 'Little Miss Sunshine' to the collection. However, I think the 'grown-ups' realized that their choices might have been a bit too mature for our taste when the team unanimously voted for the family favorite 'It Takes Two', starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (pre-pubescent era) and Kirstie Alley (pre-Jenny Craig era). The light hearted PG film had the team in a good mood throughout the trip, and Lesle testing out her new soundproof headphones.

Whatever good mood the Olsen twins gave us was quickly squashed when we went on our two mile 'jog' through Oregon State's campus. Redefining the word jog, Dana led the team past the football stadium, around the veterinarian school and by various buildings, leaving bystanders to wonder which cross country team was in town. After our record-breaking run, we re-grouped, stretched and headed back to the hotel. We then showered, changed and headed for dinner where the team refueled primarily on steak and fish. By the end, the day's activities left everyone tired and nobody objecting to the 10 p.m. curfew.

The next day went by fast and soon enough 5 p.m. kick off arrived. The game started off fast with Alex Webber scoring her first goal of the season only 15 seconds into the game. Unfortunately, after the first 15 seconds the game slowly went downhill. The half was slow and sloppy, but we kept the lead at the end of 45 minutes. After a reality check at halftime, we returned to the field with some intensity that had been lacking in the first half. We went up 2-0 on the Beavers, but a foul committed in our box awarded OSU a penalty kick that they converted to make the score close at 2-1. At this point, our bench, and especially the coaches, had been yelling/cheering all game. So as the clock wound down, and pressure from the Beavers continued, directions were being given left and right to protect the lead. The confusion of: 'drop back,' 'step up,' 'clear,' 'pass,' 'move your feet,' and my favorite- 'Kendyl, get your hands of your hips!' finally came to an end with the score held at 2-1.

While the coaches weren't happy with our performance, they could be pleased with the win, and with thoughts shifting to our next game against Oregon we put the OSU game behind us as we left Corvallis en route to Eugene.

Arguably our biggest rival, Sunday's game against the Ducks was not only about standings, but pride. We went into the game with the attitude that we couldn't lose and we were going to do anything to get a 'W.' Although our first goal of the game didn't come as quickly as Friday's, we were able to do something that seemed impossible on Friday: possess and keep the ball. Our goal, however, came in the first 10 minutes from a free kick taken by none other than bend-it-like Beckham phenom, J-Ro. Debate about who actually put the goal away raged on at halftime, with strong contenders Chelsea Bumbaugh and Kellye Joswick calling for credit. I threw my hat in the race, but had little support seeing how I was standing at the half when we scored. Hey, a girl can try. 

We started the second half in the same fashion as the first. With a number of shots on goal, we were still unsuccessful in widening the gap in our lead when Oregon tied up the game with a shot from the top of the box hitting the crossbar in. With less than 20 minutes remaining, we kept composure and continued to pressure the Ducks. A foul outside the Oregon penalty box gave us the opportunity we needed. Once again J-Ro's golden foot was called upon to take the kick and she didn't disappoint, with a low shot near post to give us the lead. The last minutes of the game were a frenzy as the Ducks pushed everyone and their mom up the field to try and score. However, the blitz ended with another score of 2-1 in our favor and our third-consecutive win.

With two wins on an away weekend, the five-hour bus ride didn't seem so depressing as we boarded the bus. Of course, it was a different story after we boarded.

A few hours, a couple bags of chips, a box of teddy grams, and various other unhealthy snacks later it was a whole different story. The bus had turned into a playground. The bad kids - who skip class, steal lunch money and pick their noses - sat in the back, while the good kids - who obey their parents, help the elderly and go on to graduate from college because they do their homework and receive good grades on their exams - sat in the front. Needless to say, it's obvious what group I belonged to. I am still astonished at how certain people can have the energy to sing non-stop for five hours. Songs that are now ruined for me include, but are not excluded, to: Shania Twain 'That don't impress me much,' Mariah Carey 'Always be my baby,' Jennifer Hudson 'Spotlight' and, yes, the 'Star Spangled Banner.' To say that the latter was a complete defamation of the national anthem is putting it nicely (although Chelsea's hip-hop/R&B version was amusing).

Although the bus ride was a trying experience, it did give us time to reflect on the weekend and look for areas to improve upon. Our attitude from the beginning of the season has been to learn and make changes as we move forward in our season. With another big game ahead, and yet another long journey to look forward to, it is obvious what adjustments need to be made based upon last weekend: Invest in some sound-proof headphones!

~Kendyl

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