Aug. 31, 2004
Shedding our Skin
Our first weekend has passed and we are still alive. Preseason provided needed time for our team to get together and figure a few things out. We have a great new class coming in with high expectations and we are very excited about where this group can go. Many new faces and a challenging schedule to welcome them.
This is a very different team than we have had in the past. My first recruiting class has graduated and we no longer have the group that put FAU soccer on the map. You don't realize how much you depend on familiarity. I always knew that Krista Fine would run down a free attacker and that Rhonda Jones would never give in. Molly Keating would always make the save and start the charge into the attack with sharp distribution. We would expect Lauren Lucena to crash through opposing players like a football player to the dining room. Jamaica would put on a great individual dribbling run scoring or setting up a goal. Jessica would find a way to make light of a situation and yet be ready to score an important goal. This has been difficult for me! These kids are the ones who believed in FAU when we couldn't win a game.
As I have struggled with the loss of these players, I have finally found something just as special. We have a group of players who have put their trust in FAU, just as those who are now in the real world. We have a group that is just as dedicated and committed because of the example set by the graduates. But there is something looming in this group. They have an interesting appeal. There is something in the woods making noise. There is something hiding under the bed.
Janine and Kelly have been through the challenges and will lead our group through the season. They have weathered the storm of disappointments and have grown from the experience. Lisa understands what is at stake and will show the effort worthy of a champion. Denise will use her fire to motivate. Kari will attack the flanks with a vengeance creating and scoring goals. Our senior group will provide the guidance to grow our team.
Roddy will show what toughness and determination will bring. Never giving up on a situation and rising to the challenge every time. Chang will find a way to get critical goals and surprise opponents with her skill. Megan will uphold the tradition of strong goalkeeping and find ways to add to that responsibility. Danni will show what hard work will bring to the game and how much it means to her will rub off on her teammates. Christine and Maria will be great teammates and work hard to increase the success of our group. Meredith will never get beat and run through a surfboard to get to the ball. Brenda will push every one in practice.
Our new players will make their mark on this group. Katri will provide an attack that will make defenses nervous. Susanna will neatly clean things up and create great opportunities for herself and her teammates. Tirelli will have an immediate impact in our games with her tireless work rate and even more impressive maturity in the game. Michele will continue to grow her role into one of great importance. Her game is just getting started. Monique will impact the game with her skill and vision. Christie will score many goals with the minutes she earns. Caitlyn will grow with every practice and will certainly have an impact with our mentality. Even though Janeke will be out with an injury, her unbelievable work rate in the training room will serve to motivate all of our players. She will have an impact this year, in one way or another.
After a win and a loss, this group has experienced both joy and disappointment. I can't help but look back to our old group and see what we were. But after this weekend, I look forward to what we will be.
Two down, 17 to go......