August 29, 2006
Well… We can't complain about a 5-0 opening win against UC Davis. As a matter of fact, we couldn't ask for anything more. The number of goals demonstrates the potency of our attack, the shutout shows the stinginess of our defense, and it is the biggest blowout win I have experienced here at the UW. Another bonus is that UC Davis is no pushover team; they defeated Cal Berkeley 1-0 in an exhibition game before they played us, and then traveled over to Spokane after our game and thrashed Gonzaga 4-0.
The stats and the recap of the game can all be seen by clicking on the "Schedule/Results" icon just above this diary entry, finding the game you are looking for, and then clicking either "Recap" or "Final Stats." You will find the individual and team statistics and descriptions of everything that happened in the game. There is even a Gametracker where you can see everything that happened and even the exact time of the match that it occurred.
It's nice to have access to all of those resources because I can focus my entries on how I (and the team) feel about the games rather than report what specifically happened.
The event that stands out the most in my memory is the penalty kick I missed during the first half. I had known I would have a chance to take one this season, and I have been working on them here and there to prepare. I had been working on a one-step approach to the ball that gives the keeper less time to cue up and prepare for the direction of the kick. I almost always go right. It's natural for me to bend the ball to the right, into the far post, with my right foot rather than bend it across to near post. I do go left on occasion though, and feel comfortable shooting either way. When I stepped up to shoot during the game I scratched the one-step approach and decided to change it up and go left. There really is no logic to that decision; it just felt comfortable at the time. Anyway, long story short (I think it's too late for that), the keeper guessed correctly and saved my shot.
This time it may not seem like a big deal, especially since the final score was 5-0. But for someone who loves scoring goals like I do, it's always heart-breaker. The hardest part is that you have to forget that you missed a 'gimme' immediately and get on with the game. Forgetting the miss is mostly a matter of maturity, and is definitely possible the same way people move past mistakes they make all over the field. I think taking a penalty takes a lot of courage because it is a risk, and you have to deal with the possibility of missing. The guys who should really be admired are those who take PKs with there entire nation holding their breath, or in huge games where millions of dollars are on the line.
Now the team is working to prepare for the Nike Portland Invitational in Portland this weekend. We play Air Force on Friday and Vermont on Monday. We are done celebrating our first win and keep in mind that this season is a marathon and not a sprint. The biggest mistake we could make right now would be to relax and feel overconfident because of our big win. We still have a lot to prove and are determined to continue playing well and improving down in Portland.