Sept. 14, 2011
Sept. 5, 2011
I am currently sitting on an airplane traveling back to Chicago. Most of the team is zonked out sleeping because we had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. Portland time (6:30 a.m. Chicago) to make it to our flight.
It is going to be interesting adjusting back to the Central Time Zone. I wouldn't quite call two hours difference jet lag, but its enough to make a difference in your sleeping patterns. Whatev.
Here's a video of some of the trip on the way to Portland.
This trip was a great experience in multiple ways.
-We responded well to a tough overtime loss against Washington with a 3-0 win vs. a talented Portland squad.
-A lot of players saw action and everyone played very well.
This displayed our depth and parity as a squad and will add to our confidence going forward. No matter who gets the call to play on any given day, we can trust that each of us will bring quality minutes--playing with energy, intelligence, and heart to help us get the quality results we expect.
-The fans and the beautiful stadium created an awesome atmosphere to play in.
After we went up 3-0 early in the second half, the Pilots fans faithfully chanted, "It's okay! We win all our games four to three." Anytime you can get heckled and get the result, it's a fun time.
-We got to spend quality time with each other outside the lines of the pitch and saw some great sights.
Here's some footage reguarding the soccer part of the trip.
If you are wondering where we are walking around, its their athletic building.
The jerseys I got close-ups of are the Pilot alums that went on to do great things in soccer after college. (The coolest one was no doubt Kasey Keller, fellow keeper, now playing for the Seattle Sounders after a long career many other places).
Their stadium was top notch. Having seen a few stadiums around the US in my time as a Rambler (most notable Maryland and Creighton, and even Toyota Park), this ranks among the top.
The Washington game was a very tough one. Anytime you lose golden-goal (next goal wins no matter what) it takes a while to recover.
We couldn't have asked for a better way to recover than to go around and see some of natures wonders.
Any time you look out over a sight like the gorge, it really helps put things in their place. Sure, we suffered a tough loss, and that is not to be ignored in the short run, but this thing took thousands of years to be created by a huge chunk of ice.
Unfortunately, I did not have the flip cam any more for the coolest part of the waterfall climb.
We all decided to hike up the mountain to the top of the waterfall (much to the chagrin of Coach Eitz..had we lost against Portland we would have been in much bigger trouble for hiking a mile up a mountain).
I hiked up with sophomore James Howe, and we decided at times it was easier to jog, so we jogged a good portion of the way up. We got to a fork in the path at a large stream that was headed for its turn to drop down the huge cliff that we were hiking to the top of.
At this point we ran into some other guys from the team and four of us decided to get in the water. It was pristine, and freezing cold.
The four of us (James, Emilio, Reed, and I) kept hiking up stream through the water.
We went the opposite way of the falls, and found our own miniature version of the big waterfall and waded around at the base of it.
If you want to see pictures of it, you'll have to find Emilio, because I think he got them on his phone.
The Portland Game
I was able to get a bit of the goal celebrations on tape, and did some interviews after the game. Here they are.
After the game we went out to a nice restaurant on the river. Got to see a nice sunset while I ate my bleu cheese burger.
This video is of the night after.
I am no longer sitting on the airplane--and actually haven't been for about half of this blog post. I am now in my apartment about to go to practice to prepare to play cross-town rival Depaul.
We had a rough go against Western Michigan the other day, which helped us realize even more the hard work it takes to win soccer games.
Tonight will be a good one. They will be shuttling out to the game again..and you may see me singing bass with the Aca'Fellas for the national anthem.
Should sound good, and the game will be as well!
See you Wednesday!