Hoover: All Heart
This weekend, we faced two very competitive teams, Ohio University and the University of Virginia. Both teams are well-respected and Virginia is nationally ranked. We knew going into the weekend that we were the underdog and were going to have to bring our A-game in each match.
On Friday, we started it off with Ohio University; they got a quick goal on us as we were caught off guard in the first minute of play. It was 2-0 at half and we put up a tough fight. Defensively, we stepped up our game and worked on possessing the ball all over the field. We kept the Bobcats scoreless in the second half. Although unsuccessful in getting the win, we learned from our experience and carried it over in to our play against Virginia.
Virginia had just come off a high after defeating Maryland, last year's NCAA National Champions, so we knew they were going to be very competitive. Not only would they be spirited but also extremely talented due to the fact they had two Olympians on their roster that competed in the 2012 games in London. The game started and as expected they came at us right away. UVA earned a penalty corner in the first five minutes of play and struck first on the scoreboard. We remained positive even after they scored their second goal. As a team we fought to keep the ball out of the defensive end and generate offense. We earned a penalty corner in which Nicole Gerdes put the ball in the left corner for a goal. This gave us the boost of confidence to never give up. Within a minute Gerdes found herself in front of the cage again and took a reverse shot. After hearing the ref blow his whistle for the confirmation of the goal, the team went crazy. The game was 2-2 going into the second half and the Hawks were flying high.
The second half was underway and UVA came at us harder than ever. After fighting hard the entire the second half, the Cavilers were able to get four more goals making the score 6-2. But still we found ourselves composed and determined to continue in the battle. In the last 30 seconds of play we had earned another penalty corner. There was no time left on the clock, we brought everyone up on offense and were determined to not get out of the circle until the ball was in the cage. The ball was inserted and a shot was taken, but was tipped by UVA. There was a scramble in front of the cage and the ball was going to the left post of the cage for Rachael Brosious to put it in for the Hawks' third goal of the game.
Even though we came up empty handed for wins this weekend, we proved to ourselves that if we just believe and play together and with heart, good things will happen. This weekend was a great experience for the Hawks and we will take this into our conference play which begins on Sunday at Saint Louis.
But before Atlantic 10 action begins, the St. Joe's-Villanova ricalry will kick off on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on Ellen Ryan Field.
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