We had 2 extremes in Missouri. Friday night, we played on a wet field in rain and wind. Sunday afternoon, we played on hot, dry turf. The temperature was 95 degrees in the parking lot, but it was over 105 degrees on that turf. It was the first time I ever had a water break in the middle of the half, and I have coached MANY games in extreme heat.
We lost 2-1 in overtime. There were many chances to score for both teams, and there were some good saves by the 3 goalkeepers. I think our team worked hard, especially considering the circumstances. If the girls will work hard in that heat against a non-conference opponent, I know they will work hard against Mercer, Kennesaw State, Stetson, and the others.
I have been happy with training this week. The team is looking to possess the ball more. The training environment is more game like. Team defending has improved. The goalkeepers are training at a high level. I think this schedule, the competitiveness within our team, and our experience is working to our advantage.
Our next 3 games are at home, and the next 2 games are against Clemson and Minnesota. What a great moment for Belmont women's soccer.
The soccer field and its surroundings look beautiful right now. At one end is a brand new 4 story dorm with an observation tower and a beautiful new $20 million building. I was at the men's soccer game yesterday, and the students can't help but come to the game. They walk out of their dorm, and they are at the game. It is a very unique environment, and I hope we are able to take advantage of it.
We still do not have a manager. Everyone has been helping with laundry and passing out equipment. We will have one by Monday. Jayme Trocino is injured, so she was the acting manager on the trip to Missouri. She had to video the game, do the team's laundry, and order food for the team before and after games. I think she has a new found respect for managers.
I plan every meal in detail on the road trips. Before a game, the players cannot eat too much or too little, too early or too late. The team ate breakfast at 9:30. We had food on the bus for everyone to eat before the game, but the players were not exactly aware of what food we had or where it was. I was out of routine, and so were they. By the time the game started at 2:00, the players were hungry. By the time overtime started at 4:00, they were running on empty. I guarantee that won't happen again this year. We will have a manager with us to be responsible for food. I will be more aware, and the players will be more responsible.
There are so many different things that go into being successful. It truly takes a team to manage, prepare, motivate, and perform.
See you on Friday night!