Howdy! I am Kat Armstrong, and I am privileged to be the “informer” for the Fightin’ Texas Aggie soccer team this season. In other words, I have the power to let all of our fans know what goes on behind the scenes of our team, in the practices, locker room, cold tub, bus trips and airports. With this team there is never a dull moment, never a lack of laughter, and never an absence of passion for the game we love and our family – the team, staff and coaches. So, teammates, be aware! I can potentially embarrass you, or make you a fan favorite.
Preseason seemed to sneak up on all of us this year, although most of us were on countdown for the season to start as we were spending the summer here, making fun 7 a.m. workout sessions with our strength and conditioning coach Paul Sealy, working the A&M soccer camps, and some of us taking on the oh-so-enjoyable, hour-and-a-half summer school classes, everyday, five days a week (I am not going to miss those!). On the other hand some of us had some time to travel and get a little vacation time in. Katie went on a Mediterranean cruise, Shippy was with the national team in Europe, Nora took an Alaskan cruise, Bri went to Canada, and I went to the beach in Mexico. Needless to say, although it was tough to get back into the groove of workouts, meetings, and actually having a structured schedule, I am absolutely ecstatic about this season and our team! This being my fourth year on the team, I believe I can truthfully say that this team is the closest one we have had since I have been here. There are no class distinctions with this team (although we’re still calling the freshman class from last year freshmen, some things just stick!), and we are all strung together with the will to compete, the drive to excel, and the want to bring home a national championship trophy!!!!
This past Saturday we were finally able to play someone other than our teammates as we took on the Rice Owls at our field for an exhibition match. Rice is always an athletic team that never stops playing, and this year they have a team comprised of many underclassmen. They played tough, but they couldn’t stop our stellar speed and tenacity up top, a goal of the year by the Equalizer, aka Raven Tatum, one by UNC transfer Merritt Mathias, and the third of course by the Herman Trophy nominee, Shipley. They even got a feel of how our team doesn’t back down when Lil’ Gnatzig (Lyndsey) went head first into a 50/50 ball and collided with Rice player, leaving her with stitches for an eyebrow and some pretty intense eye shadow. She has been playing diva all week in the latest sunglass couture.
Coming into UNC week, as it is commonly called each year when we are getting prepared to play the defending national champions, there is a lot of excitement going in. Practices are tougher and much hotter. With a stacked team in all positions, great coaches and an all-around will to win, we have the power to make a statement across the country with this first game. I strongly suggest the 12th Man make its way out Friday night, for it might possibly be a night to put down in the history books!!
The 411 on the Players:
I have decided each blog to do a little background on a couple of the girls on the team, bringing out a little extra information on what the girls are really like off the field.
This week I am going to start with two of my best friends and roommates, Alyssa and Kelly.
Alyssa Mautz is the spark plug of our team, as you can all see when she steps on the field. What you don’t know is that she, in a former life, was an 80’s aerobics instructor. Yes, scrunchies, onesies, oversized sweatshirts and all. She absolutely loves Whitney Houston and Tina Turner. Before each game, she listens to Proud Mary in her car (you know the song… “Rollin, Rollin, Rollin on the River”), and has a special dance she has perfected over the years. Last year for her aerobics class, she even choreographed a workout for her class – step ups, overhead clapping, and the ever-so motivational “Alright”, “Yeah!”, “Let’s Do it”, sayings that are completely necessary. She definitely keeps us on our toes, and is the biggest Hannah Montana/Justin Bieber fan. She even dragged Kelly and me to see the Hannah Montana movie! We fit well with all the 14-year-old girls. She also loves to roller blade from our house to practice on occasion, so if you see a blonde rollerblading on George Bush, don’t hesitate to give her a little honk.
Kelly Dyer on the other hand, has one of the loudest personalities I know. Trust me, she is not afraid to tell you what she thinks about you, what you are doing, eating, wearing, watching on TV, listening to … you catch my drift, but I love her. I can always count on her when I need a partner in crime for harmless pranks on the other girls. She is a beast when it comes to Guitar Hero, and can also grill up a mean pork chop. I must say all the girls get excited when her mom comes to town, because she is the greatest cook on the planet. In the spring after Kelly had surgery, her mom stayed at our house and cooked for us every night. While she was driving Kelly crazy by day three, the rest of the roommates begged her to move in with us.
These two girls are both seniors with me, and I must say in a couple of months I will miss them more than life itself. I cannot imagine my life without seeing them every day, joking around about what Ellen has to say or how she dances that day, or Kelly and I making fun of the “smart” comments Alyssa makes!
Hope to see you all this weekend when we play UNC on Friday and then St. Johns on Sunday!
Thanks and Gig ‘em!!!