Feb. 25, 2004
For many of us, the Cal game was a fresh start. The Davis and St. Mary's games had revealed strengths in our individual and team performance, as well as areas that could stand improvement. We could not wait to get on the field at Cal to show ourselves, and each other, how much further we had developed since the past two games.
In the days preceding our Cal match, several players spent time contemplating and discussing how we could take our performance to the next level. Practice was very focused and the whole team seemed excited to get better each day.
On the day of the game, no one could hold back their excitement. It was not simply because we were playing Cal or because we were playing our first away game that people were so enthusiastic. Rather, the energy came from the fact that we were about to step out on the field, play another team and prove to ourselves and each other that we could overcome the challenges that had defeated us in the first two matches. There was a renewed courage and determination that this team would out perform the same Stanford team that had played the last two games.
One of the main ways we attempted to control the game was through possession, particularly off the draw. Sophomore Cassie Harvey was an example of sheer determination on the circle, coming up with more draws than any other player in the game. Defensively, there was a heightened sense of awareness and alertness in and around the 8 meter. Although committing slightly more fouls than we intended, it was great to see a fearlessness amongst the defenders. Goalie, Christina Saikus, came through with some huge saves to keep the defense strong.
As we enter practice this week and prepare for our upcoming games, we will take with us the lessons learned from our experience at Cal. We expect to enter the next game with a similar mentality of outperforming our last performance and pushing one another to the next level.
- Kelsey Twist