We lost in overtime for the 2nd game in a row. The results have been the same, but the background stories could not be more different. The weather was beautiful tonight. The team played very well in front of a big crowd. The players played as well as they have been practicing.
We were down 1-0 at halftime, and we tied the game with 7 minutes remaining. I was proud of our experience, maturity, confidence, and determination.
Then, the referee decided to let Clemson win. He gave them a penalty kick 8 minutes into overtime. I believe our team had a little lapse in defending, and Clemson was attacking. However, it was not a physical game, and the referee had called very few fouls. He called that penalty kick out of the blue.
I feel bad for the players who worked so hard to play toe to toe with an ACC opponent just to have the referee decide the game, not the players on the field. It's a shame.
We did play toe to toe with Clemson. They took one more shot than we did, and we had 2 more corner kicks than they did.
It is just a bag of mixed emotions - upset to lose, pleased with our ability to compete with a big school, sad for the girls, impressed with our improvement, and disappointed in a few players.
I am guilty (again) of having unrealistic expectations of our players and our team. I begin every season idealistic that we are going to play like Spain in the World Cup. I get so upset when we don't. It usually takes me a few weeks to get accustomed to our strengths and weaknesses and to be more realistic about our abilities. This season is no different.
I am going to spend the next 2 days watching Minnesota on film and in person. I believe they are the best team on our schedule, and they will be one of the best teams I have ever coached against. I know 1:00 is not a good time for a game on a Tuesday, but I hope we will have a decent crowd. Free hot dogs and lemonade!