DISHIN' WITH DEVON: Cannons and goose droppings...?
“All I do is Win, Win, Win no matter what…’Cause I’ve never been defeated and I won’t stop now.”

These are lyrics from a song that our team is thinking about making our “walk out” song before home games. It’s not always a true statement, but we work hard every week in practice and play hard in games to make this statement ring true in our ears.

We came away from our weekend in Charleston, South Carolina 1-1. We played the Citadel on Friday to a 3-0 win. This game was entertaining before the match began. As usual, we line up after announcing the starters and we stand facing the flag for the National Anthem. This game was no different, except they shot off a REAL cannon to the end of the anthem with no warning and nearly gave our team a heart attack before the game even started! The other team was laughing at us as we freaked out. Needless to say, we got our heart rates up in time for the game.

We were tied 0-0 at the end of the first half, the whistle blew, and the cannon blasted, again scaring all of us. The first half we were having trouble getting through the middle of the field, the Citadel does a great job of clogging the middle making it difficult for the opposing team to get through. Half time came, we chatted and stepped onto the field with a new idea—go around the blockade in the middle of the field! Brilliant! And we scored a few minutes into the second half. From that point on, we dominated the game but still had trouble finding the back of the net. The time was winding down when the war broke out—no not the cannons and not a literal war, but the sounds of war. I’ve never been on a battlefield but I also know that I’ve never experienced noise like this.

The Citadel is a military school and so all of the students in training, which seemed like a million, were running around campus in long lines of four across, looking like a herd of angry ants. They were running and chanting and cheering and hollering all around campus; so much so, that you could hear them coming five minutes away. Once they hit the edge of the soccer field, it was as if the game just stopped so everyone could turn and watch. The game did not literally stop but everyone was so distracted by the deafening noise that they could not hear their brain tell their feet to run, dribble, walk, shoot, etc.

After about five minutes of continuous clamor, the noise began to die down and the game began again and allowed us to put two more goals in the back of the net before the whistle blew and the cannon blasted for the final time.

We made our way back to hotel to shower, eat and relax from a tough game, meanwhile all hoping to avoid talking to Coach knowing that he is likely to assign the “Tub” to the room of the first person he speaks to. The Tub, for those who don’t know, is a big plastic bin that is carried on away trips to hold our dirty, sweaty, stinky jerseys, short and socks after the game. Normally the team is pretty good about turning that stuff in right away after the game, which makes it nice to close the Tub up and never open it again. However, there is always at least one person who doesn’t turn things in right away and comes by once the Tub has been closed. Opening the Tub once it’s been closed is like opening an Egyptian tomb after thousands of years. The dirty, sweaty, stinky particles burst out of the slightest opening causing the room to smell of the worst smells possible, like a dead animal. Luckily it wasn’t in mine this past weekend.

Sunday morning rolls around and we are again preparing for another tough game. We found a Panera to eat and fuel up for the big game against Charleston Southern. Luckily, the field was freshly mowed which seemed to help get rid of the goose droppings that covered the field like snow the day before.

This game did not go as well for us. We were down in the first few minutes of the game which is always disheartening and hard to work back from, but we did. We came together as a team and pushed to get an equalizing goal and then another goal to put us in the lead.

In the start of the second half, one of our players is asked to make a diving save to keep the ball from going in the net, but, unfortunately, the ball makes contact with her hand, she is red carded and sent off the field. The opposing team is awarded a penalty kick for the card, which our freshman keeper (five minutes into her first college game ever) stops and allows us to breathe deeply once more.

From that point on we play down a man the entire rest of the game. We held together and pulled each other through the best we could but we conceded a goal towards the end of the half to put us into overtime.

In the first overtime period, Charleston Southern is able to find the net and win the game, 3-2.

It was a frustrating loss and the bus was silent for a while afterwards. It’s a horrible feeling knowing how hard you work and you still aren’t able to get the result you work for. I hope that feeling won’t happen for the entire rest of this season.

We’ve picked our heads up and balled out in practice this week. We are ready to play the Florida tomorrow night. They are a good team, but, as we said last year before playing Florida State University, “They put their pants on this morning the same way you did.” We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“All I do is Win, Win, Win no matter what…’Cause I’ve never been defeated and I won’t stop now.”