Spring games underway

Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins will keep a consistent blog throughout the  spring season to track the team's progress and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

Another day and another blog! It was a crazy weekend this past weekend as we had three games in two days. Needless to say, the players were sore and tired at the end of our third game on Sunday afternoon.

We started the weekend with a match on Saturday against Illinois State in Normal, Ill.  I completely enjoyed the three and a half hour trip to Illinois State with a great group of players in my van. It was very quiet as they all studied in the van. We had a successful trip to Illinois State winning 4-1, but the game was a little funky as we only played 9 v 9.  It took a while for our players to figure out the system and get their rhythm back playing against outside competition. The big goal scorer of the game was Paige Adams with her first hat trick of her career here at Wisconsin.

After the game, we immediately got back in the vans and headed back to Madison. We got home around 8 pm just in time to have the players get home, eat and sleep to prepare for their next game at 10:30 am on Sunday. It was a grueling schedule, but we wanted to push the players out of their comfort zones physically.  We played Central Michigan at 10:30 am and drew, 0-0. I was disappointed with the result and performance. However, this is what the spring is all about, challenging players and playing them in different roles along with developing the entire program's mentality. As I told the players, this is a continuous process, and one we must continue to work on together. 

Our last game kicked off at 2 pm against Loyola. I was a little concerned about this match, as we were looking at three games in a very short amount of time.  However, the team stayed focused and won 2-0 with goals from Paige (again) and Alev Kelter.  

The games this weekend were great for me as a coach to see where we are in terms of development, and what things I need to do better as a coach to prepare the team. It is especially a good time in the spring, as the players are looking forward to spring break, and I am looking forward to preparing the training for the last segment of the spring. I saw some very good things from players who didn't get much playing time in the fall, and this is a great thing for the program. It will be very competitive next fall between players improving, returning starters, and incoming new players. My job will be very difficult.

In terms of my run to Harrisburg, I have to admit... I have been lazy. I did one mile since I have last blogged, so I have 748 more miles to go. One of the reasons I have been poor with my running is the busy weekend (ok... I shouldn't make excuses), but also I have started to play racquetball again. Yes, to all my former players that I use to kick your butt playing racquetball, I am back on it!  It was ugly at the beginning, but I have found a new outlet for my competitive energy.

It has beautiful here in Madison the past few days, and I have also gone walking around Madison. If you are visiting Madison, and you are looking for a great walk around the Lake, please go visit Picnic Point. It is a great walk with a great view of the city.  I was excited to see the work on our new practice field coming along nicely.

Lastly, I will give my food tidbit of the week. This week I was able to eat at the Cabana room, which is part of the Samba Restaurant. Samba is a Brazilian restaurant in Madison that serves you meat on skewers to your table. This is by far one of Tim's favorite places in Madison, but it is a lot of food. I mostly enjoy the pineapple they bring to the table better than the meat. However, after every visit to Samba, I feel like I can't eat for a few days. Therefore, I decided to visit the small restaurant located on the first floor of Samba called the Cabana Room. It has a great atmosphere and good food. I had chips and salsa, which I loved, and my main course was chicken mole which was very good. If you are ever in Madison, and you don't want a meat buffet, you might want to try the Cabana Room. It is just another place I have found with my move to Madison!  Enjoy!

~p

ON WISCONSIN