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New Year, New Faces

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Hey Everyone!

  Well we are on our third day of preseason and things have been looking good for the Bearcats! We started off our 2011 season with compliance, academic, equiptment, and social media meetings on Tuesday afternoon followed by a team dinner at Martino's. Our equiptment this year is awesome, especially our travel suits for away trips that came about two sizes too big (Check out the picture below)!! Practice and two-a-days officially started Wednesday morning at 7am with the beep test! We ended up having 15 girls pass our first fitness test which was a great start to the year. After our test we had an hour delay because of the weather so we ended up starting playing at our afternoon session Wednesday.

  Wednesday afternoon started with defending and we certainly got after it! We worked on defensive shape as well as some 2v2's and 3v3's before playing full sided for about 40 minutes. We tried a lot of different players in a lot of positions to see what will work best for us this fall. After the afternoon session it was off to the cold tub to ice our bodies down and team dinner.

  By Thursday morning we were already starting to feel a little fatigued so we made sure to do some extra stretching with the coaches before our session to make sure no one pulled a muscle. We continued with our defensive theme Thursday morning and did a 3 box drill to work on defensive pressure from the first defender, support from the second defender, and cover from the third defender. It was a good way to incorporate defending while playing one of our favorite games! After that we scrimmaged and played a little game of Blondes vs. Brunettes, one of our favorite shooting games. Unfortunately the blondes came away with the first win but the brunettes are ready for a rematch this afternoon! Thursday's afternoon session was all about switching the point of attack and how we defend once the point of attack is switched. It was a really great session that showed how a system can break down if we allow the other team to switch the point of attack.

  This morning we ran the SEBCO test which is a mixture of soccer skills and fitness. This time 18 players passed and we have about 12 girls who are 2 for 2 with passing the fitness tests which is awesome! It's so good to see our team coming back in shape and it motivates everyone so much to see your teammates working their butts off to pass these tests. We had to run in 3 groups because we have such a large team this year so it took about an hour and a half to finish everyone because each test group has 25:30 to complete the test. It was great to have plenty of people cheering you on as you crossed the line after your final 120 knowing you had passed the test.

  So far preseason has been really good both on the field and off the field. Girls are really buying into what we represent at UC and I cannot wait to see how our hard work shows during the season. We have already come so far from past years and I only except us to keep going up from here! With a few hours before our next session I am about to take a quick nap before heading back to the locker room to get ready for our next session!

Go Bearcats---RAWRRRRRRR!

KP #14 

 

 

Katie  Johnson, Me, and Kate Schmidt looking awfully intimidating in our new travel suits!!

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Last Go Around

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Hey Everyone!

 Summer is finally coming to an end; summer team soccer is over, summer classes are ending, all the girls on the team are back. This summer has been so busy that it is nice to get a few days off before preseason starts this Tuesday!!

  It's hard to believe preseason is already here again! I feel like it was just yesterday that Kay, Erin, and I got our winter calendars and were counting down the days till we survived another winter workouts. Now summer workouts are done and all of our hard work the past few months will be put to the test as we start our 2011 season Wednesday morning officially with the beep test!!

  Yesterday morning 11 of us ran the beep test with Kelly Howe and 7 of us passed which is a great sign for our team heading into the fitness tests. It has been great to get most of the girls from the team to morning or afternoon workouts with Kelly to prepare for our fitness tests and I truly think we will have a GREAT showing once all of our fitness tests are done. The coaches have posed a challenge for us with our fitness this year and so far girls have risen to the occasion! It will be exciting to see how it all comes together August 19th for our first game!

  Along with our workouts, we have been playing pick up a lot this past week to get a few extra touches on the ball. There have been so many girls there that we have been able to open it up and play to the big goals and use our goal keepers (which I'm sure made Romo and Kristina happy!!). All of our pickup games have been close and the compitition has been tighter than ever. I'm sure the compitition will carry over into preseason making all of the girls work for our spots and challenging each other every day. We have such quality players this year that I am excited to see how everything comes together once October ends and post season play begins.

  Well I am off to watch a movie with Kay and relax before we start two-a-days on Wednesday! While this summer has been fun, I am so ready to get back playing with my team, representing our city, and making it a great senior year!

Go Bearcats---RAWRRRRRRR!

KP #14

Inspired.

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Hey Everyone!

  Sorry for the long delay for posting. My life has been quite hectic these past two weeks after working 3 soccer camps, games, workouts, and trying to keep up with the World Cup! Needless to say I cannot wait for a break come this Saturday!!

  Soccer camps have started at UC! Last week, Hebs, Sanam, and I helped work the UC Men's soccer team's camp. It was a VERY hot week with the Gettler turf reaching 119 degrees so despite the weather we had a great time! I worked with the 6-8 age group with Mike Brizzi with the men's team and boy did we have our hands filled! All of the campers were filled with personalites!  It was a good time and I think the campers had a lot of fun and learned a lot about soccer and how to become a better player. I really love when we get to interact with young fans because it really shows us as players just how important our presence is for younger kids. They look up to us and for them to interact and "hang out" with us for a week was just as rewarding for them as it was for us!

  This week the women's team mini-day camp and overnight camps started and it has been CRAZY with both camps overlapping. I am working with EK and JoJo so that has been a lot of fun! The campers have been good and it has been nice to use the CRC facilities to go swimming! Tomorrow is favorite jersey day so I am expecting to see a lot of Abby Wambach and Messi jerseys like I did when the boys camp did jersey day!

  After working camps all day, our UC team has started to play pick up at night with the incoming freshman and players already back on campus to prepare for season! It's hard to believe that our season starts just two weeks from tomorrow but I can hardly wait! So far pick up has been going really well and the intensity has been great. We really have been getting after it and making the most of our time. I can't wait till everyone is back on campus and we can officially start training for the 2011 season! It should be a GREAT season and I know many of us can't wait to get started!!

  It's really hard to believe that we finish our summer in two short weeks. We just finished up W-League play for Dayton with a 6-1 win over Fredricksberg on Saturday. It was a great way to finish off our season. We unfortunately finished 2 points behind Charlotte for the playoff spot but for taking third place in our division as a new team is quite an accomplishment! It was such a fun season and great to play over the summer to keep us in shape for  the upcoming season!

  Well I'm off to help JoJo get dinner ready for the overnight campers--baked ziti and salad from La Rosa's--then it's back onto the field for a night training session with the overnight campers! Should be a good one!

 

Go Bearcats---RAWRRRRRR!

KP #14

 

 

KAY, ME, LOGAN, AND HEBS--LAST DAYTON GAME OF THE SUMMER!

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USA! USA! USA!

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Hey Everyone!

  What an exciting game today between the United States and Brazil in the FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals! After 120 minutes of soccer and penalty kicks, the US Women's team will be moving on to play France in the semifinals after narrowly beating Brazil. This game was filled with excitement; 4 goals, 8 yellow cards, 1 red card, 8 made penatly kicks in the shootout and 1 amazing penalty kick save by the great American keeper Hope Solo. Such a great game between two world powers that will go down, along with the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final versus China, in US Women's Soccer history as one of the best games ever played. This game showed the heart of the US Women's team and not even going down a player after a red card to Rachel Buehler or going down a goal in overtime would stop the US team from moving on to a semifinal date with France on Wednesday. Such a great and well deserved win for the US.

  While the US game was going on, the Dayton Dutch Lions had a game at 2pm so we were all bummed to be missing one of the greatest games in womens soccer history. Kay, Emily, Logan, and I drove up to Dayton early to watch the first half of the game with some of our teammates at the Dutch Lions office. Let me tell you, there is no better way to get pumped for your own game than to watch a game between two great teams before!! The US took the lead 1-0 after an own goal misclearance by the Brazilian defense after a Shannon Boxx cross and as we left for our own game at halftime all we could think about was if the score would hold. Luckily, we arrived to the stadium early and had time to gametracker the game until Brazil scored an equilizer off of a penalty kick after a red card was issued to US defender Rachel Buehler. It was nice to have game tracker on my phone but even nicer to have my mom giving me play-by-play commentary when I would call her to find out what exactly happened on certain plays!!

  We left the locker room to go warm up with the game tied 1-1, anxiously waiting to hear updates. We continued to warm up and secretly getting updates from parents without our coaches noticing!! Right before we started our possession game we were devestated to hear the US was down 2-1 in the second minute of overtime but we still had faith (and HOPE of course!!) in our team. We headed on to the field to start the game with the US team down 2-1 with only minutes remaining in overtime and it had looked as if the US' World Cup run was about to be over. We were quickly proved wrong...Never, ever underestimate the power and determination of the US Women's team!

  About 5 minutes into the start of our game there was an annoucement over the sound system informing us that Abby Wambach had scored in the 121st minute tying the game! The final spot in the semifinals would be determined by penatly kicks! Trying to focus on our own game, the Dutch Lions scored a goal early on and maintained possession for a majority of the game to beat Northern Virginia 2-0. It was a hot, humid day but it was great to get 90 minutes in the heat to prepare for preseason which starts in a few weeks!! 

  Midway through the first half the sound system came back on and announced the US had beat Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks in the shootout and the crowd went nuts! Such a great accomplishment for a team that has worked so hard and has never given up. The US' slogan for the World Cup says "Pressure makes us" and that is exactly what happened, when things get tough and the US is put under pressure they rise to the occasion and against all odds the US finds a way to win. The US has been put under a lot of pressure to get to this point in the World Cup, narrowly making it into the tournament after losing in the semifinals to Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, winning a home-away aggregate series versus Italy to be the final team in the World Cup tournament, losing to Sweden in the final game of group play and coming from behind to beat Brazil in penalty kicks after playing 50 minutes of the game down a player!!  The US team has never given up and rightfully deserves a place in the semifinals!

  After missing the whole second half, overtime, and PK's, Logan, Kay, and I rushed to the car to watch the highlights on my phone. When Abby Wambach scored that goal in the 121st minute of the game off of a PERFECT Megan Rapinoe cross to tie the game up I got chills. What a great goal to keep the US hopes alive! Watching the team celebrate before heading to PK's made me so excited to start the UC season back up and create our own celebrations after games! 

  Well I am off to get some things done before I can watch the US game vs Brazil being replayed at midnight!! It's going to be hard to wake up for 7am workouts tomorrow morning but I'm sure it will be worth it after watching some of the highlights already!! Make sure to tune in to the US game versus France in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday at noon, you won't be disappointed!! 

GO BEARCATS--RAWRRRRR and GO USAAAAAAAAAAA :)

KP#14 

World Cup Frenzy

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Hey Everybody!

  The FIFA Women's World Cup started this past Sunday and so far the group games have been awesome! USA played North Korea on Tuesday and won 2-0 after a shaky first half. The US seemed to have trouble with the North Koreans pace and movement of the ball out wide but after halftime they came out and took control of the game and put two great goals in by Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler. Other teams such as Germany, France, and Brazil proved they are teams in contention for the title after positive showings thus far in group play. Kay and I were running late from lifting with Kelly Howe so we ended up watching the USA game in the coaches office because we didn't want to miss any more of the game! It has been awesome to watch some of the best players in the women's game each day and definately gives me something to do each day after Dayton Dutch Lions morning practices.

  The Dutch Lions continued to practice this week after a week off. We scrimmaged a U23 team from Columbus last night and won 6-0! Like the USWNT, we started off a bit shaky but we were able to come away at half time winning 1-0 on a PK call. We definately kicked in it in the second half and scored 5 more goals, two of which came from Logan and another from Hebbeler! It was good to get our feet back under us after a few days off and to get a good run in to help keep up our game fitness!

  This weekend we are hosting the Atlanta Silverbacks in a rematch of our first game of the season. Atlanta had previously beaten us 3-0 after we only had about 3 days of practice and a lot of girls missing so we are hoping for a better result than last time! We are in the final stretch of our season with only 3 games left so 3 wins would put us in a great place to place in the top 2 of the division and advance to nationals held in Washington state at the end of July.

  I'm off to go run with Kay but make sure to check out the World Cup games each morning, trust me you won't be disappointed!!, and if your in the Dayton area Saturday night, come watch the Dayton Dutch Lions take on Atlanta 7pm at Bellbrook High School!

GO BEARCATS--RAWRRRRRR!!

KP #14

A Few Days Off

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Hey Everyone!

    This past weekend our summer team, Dayton Dutch Lions, traveled to play Charlotte Lady Eagles on Saturday night. Since the men's Dutch Lions team had a game versus Charlotte men's team on Saturday as well we traveled with them, first making a stop in Charleston, South Carolina for their game versus Charleston Battery on Friday night. We left Dayton at 8am on Thursday morning and didn't get to Charleston till 8pm on Thursday night! It was a very long bus ride and we had to double up seats on the bus because of the amount of people traveling. It was very crowded so when people wanted to sleep they would sleep on the floor of the bus! Sharing seats was so uncomfortable and the floor was very hot so either way sharing a seat or sleeping on the floor the ride was not ideal. I never realized how lucky we are when we travel with UC and each get our own seats!!

  After a light practice Friday morning we had the rest of the day to go walk around downtown Charleston, go to the mall, hangout at the pool, relax, or basically do whatever we wanted until we left at 6 for the mens game. Logan, being the smart one of the group, had brought her bathing suit in case of nice weather so we could go for a swim at the hotels pool. A big group of us wanted to go swimming as well so we took the bus shuttle over to the Walmart and each bought a bathing suit so we could go swimming as well! The pool water was perfect and the weather was hot with a nice breeze so it was a really nice way to spend an afternoon off!

  After the pool we went to dinner at a restraunt in Daniels Island, SC near the stadium the boys were playing at before heading to their game. Their game was very exciting, a lot of shots, 2 red cards, and even a headbutt from one player to another! The fan base in Charleston made it even more exciting--their stands were filled with hundreds screaming fans. After the mens game ended we drove 3 hours to Charlotte to stay the night for our game on Saturday.

  Our game Saturday started out wild. When we got to the fields and went to the locker room, the weather was a hot, humid 95 degrees with the sun blazing down but when we came out of the locker room after about 30 minutes, the weather was a very windy, cloud covered sky and only about 60 degrees!! It was quite a change and it certainly looked like there was going to be a storm. We had been about 10 minutes into our warmup when it started to downpour on us! It was the heaviest rain I had played in, in a long time and the wind made it so much worse! The wind was blowing all of our soccer balls and cones away and it made it very difficult to run in. About 20 minutes before game time a BIG bolt of lightning flashed and we had to go back to the locker rooms and wait half an hour for a rain delay. After the delay, it was only raining a little bit so we quickly warmed back up and began the game. We had played really well in the first half of the game; we were winning 1-0 and our backline of Kay, Logan, a girl who plays at UK, and I held Charlotte to only one shot on goal. The second half we looked a little bit tired from all the traveling and we gave up 2 goals, one on a set piece and one on a corner. We ended up tying the game late in the second half so we were happy coming away from a long travel trip with 1 point versus the team in first place. We traveled through the night and got back to Dayton around 7am on Sunday morning! It was such a long trip and I was so happy to be back at my apartment and not crammed on a bus anymore!

 With no games this coming weekend our summer team coach gave us off practice which will be nice to rest up our bodies before a big game versus Atlanta July 2nd. The time off has given me some time to go back home and spend time with my family. I came back to Lemont on Monday morning after Kay, Emily, and I worked out with Kelly Howe. Lemont is a southwest suberb of Chicago, Illinois and the trip back to Lemont normally takes about 4 and a half hours but with the crazy rain and thunderstorms on Monday it took me quite a bit longer! About 5 and a half hours later I was so happy to be pulling in to my driveway and see my family and my dog. Home has been very relaxing so far and I've just been hanging out with my family a lot, nothing too exciting but I am going up to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin this weekend so hopefully this awful, rainy weather clears up so we can take the boat out!!

Go Bearcats--RAWRRRRRR!

KP #14

Fighting for First Place

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Hey Everyone!

  School is out and soccer is on my mind! It is so nice to finally just be playing soccer without having classes, homeworks, tests, and projects to worry about! All of my attention has been shifted to practices and workouts with the Dayton Dutch Lions. We have practices usually 3 days a week for a hour and a half in the mornings. The practices have been quite competitive this week as we prepare to take on Charlotte Lady Eagles this weekend in Charlotte.

    Charlotte is currently in first place but we are in a close second only behind Charlotte by two points! We are really looking for some points on the road to secure a spot in the top two of the division as the top two in each division of the W-League go to Nationals! For a first year program we are reaching new heights and proving we can compete in the top W-League division!  

  Last time we played Charlotte we beat them 1-0 at home and I'm sure they will want to avenge that loss. They are a great team and move the ball well but I am hoping that the Dutch Lions have a showing like last time. If we battle and compete the whole game like we did last time, I think we have a great chance at winning some very crucial points on the road!

  We leave tomorrow and are traveling with the Dayton Dutch Lions Men's USL Pro team to Charleston, South Carolina for their game Friday night before heading up to Charlotte. Both the men's and women's teams play against Charlotte in a double header before returning back to Ohio early Sunday morning! This is our last away trip of the season (our next 3 games are at home) and away trips always bring the unexpected.  On our away trip to Virginia Beach we stayed in a "very interesting" hotel in West Virginia and on the trip to Northern Virginia the bus got stuck in traffic and arrived to the game 20 minutes late (the team stretched on the bus and were ready to go!!). While away trips are unpredictable, they always bring great stories but they also cause our team to adapt to each situation which ends up bringing us closer as a team. This closeness has really showed through our play as we are now getting comfortable playing with girls from all different colleges and our soccer is really flowing together well.

  Well I am off to pack for the weekend! I'm sure I will have some great stories from this away trip to blog about next week so check back!!

GO BEARCATS--RAWRRRRRRR!

KP #14

 

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Schools Out for Summer!

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Hey Everyone!

Well another school year has came to an end here at UC! While it's sad to see everyone going home, it will be a nice to be done with school until the end of September and concentrate only on soccer! We ended the school year with an All-Sports banquet on Saturday morning at Fifth-Third Arena. The UC CATSVision staff did a great job putting together not only a highlight tape but a bloopers tape as well!! We had quite a few laughs and it was really nice for all the sports to get recognized for both their academic and athletic achievements from the past year.

With everyone on different schedules for finals and leaving to go home for the summer, we did our best to get some workouts in this past week with our strength and conditioning coach Kelly Howe. KJ, Ashley, Kaylee and I had quite a suprise in the weight room on Tuesday as a bunch of the Cincinnati Bengals players were training there as well! The Bengals have been using UC's top notch facilities during the NFL lockout for some of their training sessions. It was really cool to train alongside professional athletes and to see Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Andrews kicking their butts!!

With school fresh out of our minds, tomorrow morning some of us are running the beep test along with our academic advisor Keri Thoman! It will be really fun to compete against not only our teammates but Keri as well! Keri is our reining Women's Soccer Touch Football MVP from our fall game and she is quite the competitor so I know she will be working hard to beat us! It will also be a great to run the beep test before preseason as it will be the first time many of us have ran it.

Off to bed to be up for practice and the beep test in the morning! Hopefully it goes well!! Make sure to watch the All-Sports highlight video and the Bloopers video on GoBearcats.com and if your in the Dayton area Saturday night come out and support the Dayton Dutch Lions and some of your UC women's soccer players as we take on Virginia Beach Piranhas at Bellbrook High School 7pm!

Go Bearcats--RAWRRRRRR!!

KP #14

Kickin' It With KP

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Hey Everyone!

This is the first of many blogs coming to you keeping you updated with the Bearcats! We have been hard at work in the weight room and the classroom this past week with the school year FINALLY ending next week!! I think I can speak for most of the girls when I sat that school cannot be finished soon enough! While we are all excited about classes ending, some of us couldn't wait to get started preparing for the fitness tests this preseason and started training on our own. We have already ran 3 out of our 6 fitness tests the past two weeks and on Wednesday we had a group out to run the Man-U test. Despite the heat, the results look very promising for the real preseason test! It has been a great training atmosphere to send off our team as we all head to play with our summer teams before coming back to campus in mid-July.

This summer I will be playing with Kay, Hebs, and Logan for the Dayton Dutch Lions, a new W-League team out of Dayton, Ohio. The W-League is currently the second highest level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid and we are in the very competitive Atlantic Division playing teams from Atlanta, Charlotte, Virginia Beach, Northern Virginia, and Fredricksburg (Virginia). We are 2 and 1 so far this summer after beating a very skilled and experienced Charlotte team this past weekend in our home opener. It's been really fun so far and it will be great this summer to get a lot of extra practice in.

We have our final leadership council meeting tomorrow morning (I'm hoping Tiff brings in donuts again!!). I am so proud of all the things we have accomplished this year in the those meetings. We have laid out the standards for our programs and we have really brought our team together and made some really positive changes. It has been really great to see how everyone has bought in to our program and made a commitment to move in the right direction to be a top Big East team!

Well I'm off to a much needed break from studying and going out to dinner with Kay and EK! Good Luck to all our Bearcats during finals week and safe travels back home!!

 

Go Bearcats--RAWRRRRR!

KP #14