Speace's Pieces: A Blog by UCSB Soccer Player Julia Speace

Sept. 14, 2009

Well hello there! Before I begin to rattle off my intensely interesting, provocative, page-turning (or down-button pressing) blog, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read it. I do not know how you got here, and furthermore, whether you meant to or not, but I implore you to stay and read a little bit. If you do not like it, no harm done, and to help you out, to get to the men's page, just click "men's sports," and "soccer." However, now that I have your eyes and ears, I will fill them with a little snippet from the life of a Gaucho women's soccer player.

Let me take you back a ways, say, to last Saturday, when our team embarked on perhaps the longest roadtrip ever to be taken in the history of any women's program, anywhere. It consisted of 5 total plane flights, countless hours on busses, or really, glorified shuttles, and 2 different hotels. In addition, one of those bus rides included me sitting on a bag of balls for an hour because we ran out of seats. Peachy. However, never to play the victim, we all sucked it up, and went with it.

So, we landed in Chi-town and took a bus to Champaign, where we were scheduled to play University of Illinois. It was a long day, no doubt, made even longer by a minor bus radiator problem, and the possibility of watching New in Town, the movie with Renee Zelwegger. Or Zellwegger. I just will refer to her as Bridget Jones because I feel she should just become her, as she seems much nicer than Renee herself. That, however, is neither here nor there, and if I do refer to Renee in this blog again, I will call her Bridget. Good. Now, we lucked out and got to watch "Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds," which is a 5-star Oscar-deserving movie. So of course it is raining in beautiful Champaign, but the show must go on, and so did we. We proceeded to have a light practice, or really, a couple of jogs next to the game field, and headed to Olive Garden. If anyone from OG is reading this, replace your chairs. Really. I do not understand the office-like rollie chairs you have. It doesn't really shout "Tuscany," or even "nice restaurant." It is odd, and they need to get the boot.

On to the game. We came out with our usual 4-3-3, and matched up fairly well with the Fighting Illini for a while. These girls were pretty skilled, fairly huge in stature, and quick. Needless to say, we did not have the best game of our careers, and lost 3-0. Check our stats if you want a full recap, it is a sore subject for me to recall, and will be filed into the "put it behind you type game" drawer. Sometimes you just need to move on, and simply learn from your mistakes. Next stop, Virginia, where we would face the College of William and Mary, and George Mason.

First up, William and Mary, who had recently rattled off 2 or 3 defeats of top-ranked teams. I believe they were ranked in the low 20's by the time we faced them. Our team came out with a lot of energy, as we had not played since Sunday, and this game was Wednesday. Everyone was on the same page, and the ball moved very efficiently across the slick surface. I did not mention that the weather was all rain leading up to the game, and we had a little shower as we were playing, but nothing too bad. I did feel bad for my parents, who made the trip out with Kailyn Kugler's parents as well, as they were all huddled under what looked like an umbrella suited for a toddler. However, a win makes everything better, so no complaints here! In addition, it was Tammy Lenham's birthday, so late shout-out to her, as it was a night chock-full of fun! Right. One more game to go, and we were homeward bound!

Thursday's practice was light and fun, as we were resting our legs for the game on Friday. Afterwards we had the option to mill about Colonial Williamsburg, and so natch we all jumped on that one! I just get a kick out of the people that work, or I guess "live" in C-Will. I myself would never choose that career path, as I have grown quite fond of the 21st century, but hey, do what you love I guess. They were having a town hall "meeting" about the British and freedom and such, and when one Colonial woman flipped out when we did not participate in their cheers, I just wanted to remind her that we succeeded in freeing ourselves about 200-plus years back, so she should check that off her list. However, I will never be a Debbie Downer, so "Huzzah" I did.

Game day, which fell on Erica Seidman's birthday (!), arrived, and we were beginning to feel the effects of 7 days on the road. I would not say we were necessarily tired, it was more like worn out from everything that we had gone through in the past week. Needless to say, we came out a little sluggish against George Mason, and they scored 2 fairly lucky, but still earned, goals in the first half. We were able to score 1 before half, but could not keep the momentum on our side, and lost 3-1. We met afterwards and spoke about what we need to work on moving forward, and how to get ourselves organized and confident for our upcoming schedule, which includes UCLA, Arizona, and further down the road, conference. On a personal note, after the game I was able to see my aunt, her fiancé, my cousin, his wife, and their baby Alicia, as well as my uncle! Dinner was at the grand restaurant 415 at the Williamsburg Hospitality House, and may I say, if any of you are in the area, go for their crabcakes. I am not kidding you, they are BA-nanas. I think it is a crawfish/crab combo, which together was terrif. And yes, Restaurant 415, if I bring in any customers I do expect a lifetime supply.

Anyways, not exactly the outcome we wanted, as the goal always is to get wins. We have a lot to take away from our time spent on the East Coast, and I look forward to growing and getting better everyday with my team. Stick with us, dear readers, as we have some important home games coming up, and we expect to compete hard, and look to come away with the W's! Thanks for reading, and I hope that this blog will be a destination for you in the future, and not just a stop along the way!