Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last Dose of Vitamin D

Today we got to wake up later than usual to check out of the hotel, which was amazing. We went to Pomona to shoot-around and learned a new play, Franklin. It took us some time to figure it out but once we did it looked great and I was really excited to see it played out on the field! After our shoot-around we had some time off for lunch and decided to walk around the town of Claremont. The town was full of quaint shops that I would have loved to pick through had I not been in a pinnie and extremely sweaty, so I settled for getting ice cream with a couple of other girls. We traveled to University of Redlands and had a lot of time to relax and sit in the sun if we were not getting treatment. We based our conversations on awkward childhood memories that were hilarious for everyone else to hear about. Game time in the locker room was say the least. Our "psych" was more like a boot camp. Alice and Allison walked up an down our line and screamed encouraging things at us, it got us all really pumped up. Once we got to the field at 6:00 P.M the lights were on, and the music was blasting to say the least. Redland's warm up mix was sub-par by my standards, I think they used the volume to overpower the awfulness of the actual music, but whatever, we were focused, we knew what we were going to do. The game was back and forth, the intensity was unbelievable, it was the greatest feeling stepping off the field at a time out and hearing from our coaches that we were doing everything we worked on in practice and doing it right. Having a team of 12 on the trip, several of whom are injured compared to the opposing team of 26, you would never guess that a single person on our team was not performing at 100%. The game was so much fun and so tiring, but it was easy to ignore when we had a goal so close in our reach. Unfortunately, we did not win but hey, we played our hearts out and it felt good and I know we all have a lot of confidence going back to Ohio with what we learned here in California. After the game we went to a Mexican restaurant and naturally stuffed our faces, it was so good, and the painfully full feeling was warmly accepted by the entire team :o) Now we are staying in a different hotel (very nice might I add), and plan to leave for the airport tomorrow morning for a full day of travel. I wish we could be playing lacrosse instead.
Ariel Schuster

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I was nervous to go to practice today because I had strained my hamstring in the game the previous day. I was unsure as to how much I would be able to participate, and was hoping I wouldn't have to sit out on too many drills. On the car ride over Deb was giving our van cryptic hints as to how everyone on the team was going to "play" today. None of us were completely sure what she meant, obviously we were going to play, it was lacrosse, a game.
After finishing up treatment (which consisted of the some what cold and stinging "stim") the team headed down to the field. We did our usual warm up and were then summoned to stand in a circle with the coaches. It was here that I realized that this practice was going to be somewhat unusual. Deb started the first "drill" off with a game where we each has to say what we were "bringing to practice" that day...and then recite what all of our teammates were also bringing (the things we brought had to be in alphabetical order...attitude, belligerence, composure, a dog, elegance, fabulosity etc.). Part of the game was keeping a steady beat as we recited what everyone would bring, needless to say some of us had a harder time doing this than others. As we went through there were some (very) offbeat claps (primarily by Fitz) and whispers to one another to make sure that our catalog would be complete and correct. This was just the start of a practice filled with team building activities which in the end helped us reflect on how we would be a more cohesive team. A favorite among the different exercises was a drill involving balloons. Some girls got more attached to their balloons than others and after the exercise tried to hide them in their stick bags (which clearly led to some mad attempts to pop to balloon while the owners' backs were turned).
On the car ride home we listened to our normal music (comprised primarily of top 40 songs) apart from our brief introduction to Donna Summer by Deb. During a commercial we switched to another station and Donna Summer came on and a rapid sequence of events followed. Deb informed us all of the artist we were about to listen to, and expressed her surprise (and concern) at our (mine in particular) lack of knowledge about her, and then (the most important part of all) proceeded to dance and serenade us. Needless to say the car ride home was kept educational and entertaining.
In the afternoon we had some down time to explore and relax after a tiring game the previous day. Dana and I went on an adventure to explore the landscape surrounding the hotel. We walked to a shopping center and made our way through Marshalls where we managed to pick up some random (but very necessary) items: aluminum water bottles, iHome speakers so we could listen to music on the bus and before games, and of course, lest we forget, some sun glasses (yeah... I forgot to bring sun glasses to Cali). On our returning trip we stopped for refreshments at a smoothie place and then went back to crash before making dinner at 5:30.
After dinner, the entire team made our way to the Griffith Observatory, where we had a beautiful view of the skyline and could see Saturn. After about 30 minutes of actually looking at the sky, some girls broke off to investigate the museum itself. Like with all good museums, this one had a gift shop where Alice and Ariel discovered the NASA space suits (full, bright orange body jump suits). These suits clearly had to be tried on. As Alice and Ariel were attempting to climb into these suits, a crowd of people gathered to watch the spectacle of the girls struggling to get in. After a number of key photo ops, the suits were quickly removed and we left.
We came home to a team meeting where we discussed our plans for tomorrow over the all important ice cream. After a discussion of when we would leave and when we would be able to shower, everyone dispersed to pack up so we could check out tomorrow, which is what I should actually start doing now. Last of the three games tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lax, Shower, Eat. Rinse, Repeat.

Although I was tired from waking up at 4:30, 6:30, 7:45, and 8:30, I was still excited for breakfast this morning because I'm always ready to eat. Before we had to leave for practice at 9:30, Dana, Taylor, and I feasted on bagels, fruit, and the six boxes of Girl Scout cookies that Dana's mom left for us. At 9:30, we all piled into our caravan of three Toyota minivans to head to our practice at Pomona. Even though the majority of the team had to visit Jill the athletic trainer before practicing, we all managed to be ready to work hard before our game this evening. Along with working on our new awesome tan lines (glove and goggle tans are sexy), we practiced our many plays and Deb introduced Clark to us, a new play that was cool because it incorporated everyone instead of just a few players. After practice, we headed back to the hotel and had time to do homework, nap, go out for smoothies, or just relax before we headed to our game at 4:30.
Our game against Pomona was special not only because it was night game under the lights but because of our fan base. In addition to the parents that made the trip to California, some Oberlin athletes that live in LA came to cheer us on. Their rambunctious cheers and enthusiastic encouragement were so supportive and even made the Pomona players jealous. Although we lost the game, there were so many things that we could be proud of. Emily Perry had a fantastic game registering 28 saves against a very good Pomona team. Perry was loud, authoritative, and definitely took charge of the defense. Taylor was dominant as usual with eight goals and wreaked havoc on the Pomona defense drawing double and triple teams. Alice scored a beautiful goal off of a move that she worked on in practice, and Clark opened up numerous scoring opportunities for us.
After the game, we were starving and the whole team headed over to In-N-Out burger, a must go to fast food joint in California. Unfortunately, we overestimated the capacity of our stomachs and ordered way too much food (double animal fries and milkshakes are filling!) But it was worth it, even if I feel like I gained 100 lbs. After all the food and lacrosse I am so ready to go to bed!
Lori Sako

Monday, March 23, 2009

'Bama Girls, Santa Monica Pier, and Ranieri's Cha-Cha Chicken

Rolling out of bed this March morning was not nearly as hard as it seems to be in Ohio, but it might have been because of the beautiful day here in California. We met in the hotel lobby and made the drive to the Pomona fields. The first 20 minutes of practice we discussed the fears we had about this season and as a team, gave each other positive reinforcements to counter those fears. Admittedly, some of us were skeptical at first, but hearing our teammates tell us how and why we shouldn't have any fears this season really helped with everyone's confidence. After a three hour practice we met the girls from Birmingham Southern College. They were all so sweet; definitely one of the nicest teams we've met. Their coach was one of Deb's former players!
After practice ended we ran back to the hotel, ate, showered, and changed, and were right out the door again. We drove to the Santa Monica Pier and had three hours to roam. Most of us were on the beach, but Deb and Dianne rode one of the rides and I hear there is video footage. There was also great shopping and food near the pier and we spent some time there as well. It was a beautiful afternoon and everyone had a really great time.
Due to traffic, we got back to the hotel a bit late, but we still all pitched in for dinner. Two rooms made rice, another made salad, and Deb made Ranieri's Cha-Cha Chicken. You'll have to find out what that is when you join the team...I'll just say, it's as good as it sounds...
Em Perry

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1st Day Jitters

Dear Prospective Teammates,
Today was our first miraculous day away from Oberlin weather, or so we thought; the rain and wind traveled with us. We practiced in a light sprinkle in the morning. The team worked on defensive skills and shooting while I worked on not knocking the wind out of Deb. Once Deb regained her wind, and the poor weather died out, we had our game against Birmingham-Southern College. We had a tough loss, but played well as a team. Our plays came together and we were able to run a new play that we had learned at practice that morning. I was psyched that I scored two goals off the plays too!
After the game, we showered (don't believe the rumors, most people do shower at Oberlin) and headed off to Macaroni Grill where we had dinner with Dana's parents. It was a lot of fun until Deb bogarted my camera and proceeded to cruise through all of my pictures. She especially liked the one I took of Lori the day earlier while she was sleeping... and picking her nose.
Well, that's all folks!
Alice E. Zicht