I spent Sunday into Monday, trying to process our loss at Southern Connecticut. Monday morning I was back at my dentist, who is a nice guy, but not my favorite place to visit! So I was happy to move on to our Film session and then practice. The team’s mood seemed subdued, to me, which I took to be a good thing, considering the disappointing loss. We had a good, focused practice, which was easily the best part of my day!
Tuesday morning, I woke up to snow on the ground! I had almost forgotten what that looked like around here. I was instantly reminded of the challenge that the weather often presents at this early stage of the season. When we arrived at the field for practice, only some of the snow had been removed. In order to have any kind of practice at all, we would have to shovel! The players had been told to bring shovels and a number of them did. So shovel, we did.
We ended up having a decent practice, considering the space and conditions. I think the team camaraderie was bolstered by the shoveling effort, or maybe that is just wishful thinking.
Wednesday morning, I woke up with that “Game Day” anticipation! I had plenty of things to do, but mostly my mind was on our game against the University of New Haven Chargers. 7pm could not come soon enough. I watched some film and even caught some of the Nazareth game (vs. Geneseo, at 4pm), before it was time to leave for the Rockville Centre Sports Complex (our home field).
As I slowly made my way west on the Southern State Parkway, I realized that after the game that night we would be off the next day, then have two practices before playing our next game. Once it begins, the season has its own rhythm, and you quickly get into sync with it. Game, recovery, preparation (film, practice, game planning etc.), another game! I had missed that rhythm, it is good to be back in it.
That brings us to the game against New Haven. By game time, a drizzling rain was falling, though it was probably around forty degrees, so not too bad, when you consider the time of year and the conditions we have already played in. New Haven came into the game ranked 18th in the nation, and it did not take long for them to show why. They have speed and skill all over the field. But we came ready to play on this night, and were able to match their speed and intensity throughout the contest. Though we found ourselves behind 9 – 5 at half time, the Lions hung tough and kept battling back. It was not until late in the fourth quarter, that it became clear the game was out of reach. The final score of 14 – 9 definitely, did not reflect how closely played it really was. This was a much better game for us, and hopefully a sign of things to come. If we can continue to cut down on the self inflicted mistakes, we can become a very good team. I think all of us coaches, were proud of the way the team played and are now looking to build on that effort, as we go forward.
Post game, I was happy to get the chance to catch up with Ivanna Hernandez who plays for New Haven. I was fortunate enough to have Ivanna on the FLG Team I coached. She was an exciting and developing player, who suffered an ACL injury back then, so it was great to see her out there competing again. I didn’t love that she had 3 goals against us, but I could not have been happier for her.
Next up is Lake Erie College at home, this Sunday at Noon. Hopefully, we can put forth the same kind of effort we had in the games against Pace and New Haven. Go Lions!