My parents always tell me that we (the soccer players) are so spoiled, all the time. For the most part I would agree with that, especially when we have away weekends. Curt usually has everything planned to the tee when we travel. Itineraries are perfectly set, dinners, transportation and hotels always run as smooth as anyone could hope for. When we arrive at the airport our bus is always there, when we arrive at the hotel our rooms are always ready, and at dinner, the tables are already set. In the past three years that I have been here, there has never been a major issue or hiccup occur. Well I guess you could say our luck had run out this past weekend, or maybe, like we told Merritt, she brought along the bad luck.
Starting from our arrival in Indianapolis, the bus transportation was anything but smooth. We had all just assumed that we were in for a bumpy weekend due to all of the rough starting and stopping. Needless to say, many of us had a bit of motion sickness when we arrived at the hotel Thursday night. As we headed for Bloomington on Friday for the game, much to our dismay, we had to coast for a few miles because the engine took a break for a bit, but we finally got back on the road and made it in the nick of time for our warm-up.
After we beat the hell out of the Hoosiers, we hopped back on the bus for what would be a very long night. We were creeping along back to Indianapolis when the engine completely died on us. As a few cops passed by, chasing down speedsters, we were hoping they would supply us with some help, but we came to the conclusion that we might not make it back. Some of the girls were at the point of calling their parents to car pool us back to our hotel, when we were finally able to crawl into a gas station and wait for a replacement bus. At this point we were all a bit delirious and still ecstatic on our win so we were all pumped to get off the bus and buy ice cream and Icees in the store. Of course, Phil was the first in line for his drumstick! As we patiently waited, our 12-year-old inner children came out and decided to play a series of games ranging from Ninja, where you circle up and karate chop each other’s forearms, to “calling all vegetables”, a game where each person is a specific vegetable and you must call out one another but you can’t show your teeth the whole time, and then lastly to the infamous “Chicken Taco” game based on speed, memory and counting skills. No one walking up would have imagined that we were stranded due to the nonstop laughter and happiness we were all demonstrating. Honestly, when our new bus arrived, some of us were a bit bummed that we had to end game night early. So, yes Mom and Dad, we are definitely spoiled, but when times get rough, we don’t act like the prima donnas most would assume, we just roll with the flow!
So this week I am going to spotlight our two players that may be some of my biggest inspirations as players and as people, Jen Kmezich and Shawn-tae Green. I chose to talk about them because this past weekend, being out of town, it was completely obvious that there was a huge hole in our team that these two have been a vital part of for the past two years. In ways that none of us will ever know, God has decided that he has a bigger plan for their lives than continuing to play soccer. Two of the most vivacious, friendliest and spontaneous people I have ever met, these two girls play such a huge role in the glue that holds this team together. Shawn-tae is always there whenever you need an ear to listen, a bobby pin to hold back the fly-aways or a tight braid for the game. Jen is an amazing guitar player and singer (although she doesn’t like people to know this), has a smile that will brighten your day, and an amazing creativity when it comes to coloring books. I miss these girls so much on the field and their inability to play fuels us all to play that much harder because we never know what day will be our last.
We travel to Portland on Friday to BTHO and then are back at home on Sunday for our last game before conference starts! See ya’ll soon!
Thanks and Gig’em,