Monday, August 22, 2005
EDITOR'S NOTE: Alabama junior defender Emily Pitek will give her account of the Crimson Tide’s pre-season work in her diary each day leading up to the beginning of the season.
The Alabama Soccer 2005 competitive season started Friday with an exhibition game against an in-state opponent, Samford University. We borded the bus at around 3 after eating at Jason's Deli. We all crammed into the bus, so when we got off it at Samford we closely mirrored clowns spewing out of one of those ity-bity cars.
We made a stop in Mountain Brook before we got to the field, though. We went and visited the Wall of Hope. This is a wall that has been set up for Natalee Holloway, a student at Mountain Brook High School who is enrolled for the Fall semester here at Alabama. We went in support of our teammate, Annie B. Collins, who was on that trip to Aruba with her senior class. We were able to sign the wall and read comments and prayers from people all across the nation.
After that we arrived at the field. Fourty-two minutes before game time we started warming up. The adrenaline was flowing as the music boomed from speakers placed around the field. Coach announced the starting line up, we were announced, listened to the national anthem and then the whistle blew.
Samford brought a lot of energy to the game. Even though it was an exhibition game, they treated it as a real game and we had to match their intensity. Our first 45 minutes of play did not run as smoothly as one would have hoped. There was nervous energy on the field. We weren't doing the simple things that are necessary in order to succeed in this game.
Thirty-one seconds after the whistle blew again Allison DeLisle read a pass from a Samford defender perfectly and sent the ball to Libby Probst who finished it perfectly. That was all the scoring that took place, yet there was a lot more action on the field.
If Friday’s game was any indication of what fans can look forward to this year, it should be a very exciting season. Hard hits, great saves and shots that narrowly miss made for 90 minutes of intense play.
We know that this wasn't the best we can play as a squad. However, this is why exhibition games are scheduled. This game provided our coaches with information they need to know about our team and what we need to do to improve.
Only three more days of preseason and then we're off to Tulane!