All of these could be used to describe our scrimmage game vs West Alabama this past Friday. West Alabama, a first-year Division 2 program, put together a solid squad and gave us a good game.
As a program, we went into the game knowing we were going to try some different lineups, and really focus on our execution of what we had been preaching, and practicing the five days prior to kickoff.
For every moment of brilliance, came an opportunity where a player also learned that she needed to improve upon a certain skill.
Alicia Plotky picked up where she left off last year...scoring goals. She did her best impression of Abby Wambach on a well placed header (thanks in large part to a great cross by sophomore Amanda Babbin) tucked in the side netting, away from the grasp of the fully-extended, leaping goalkeeper for UWA. Plotky went onto have another goal in the half, a nice little tucked shot from about 15 yards out to beat their last line of defense.
Apparently our players paid close attention to this summer's Women's World Cup, because junior Melissa Sweeney was not to be outdone by Plotky's heading attempt. Off of a free kick from half field, Sweeney maneuvered herself into a position to precisely flick on a ball, that sailed off her head for a strong 10-15 yards right into Devon Weldon's charging path for the third goal of the game.
And so when the whistle blew, the Panthers assessed the situation: a 3-1 win. A preseason scrimmage. Five days into preseason. Yes, there were some good things to carry with each individual, but more than anything, it served as a giant mirror. A mirror that shows us exactly who we were at that moment. We are a unit poised to make great strides this season, but to avoid getting ahead of ourselves, we must embrace the moment we're given and take a realistic, logical approach to our training and matches.
We hope you will join us on our journey.