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Dear Badger Fans,
First off I want to thank you for all of your support. I have had a wonderful experience at Wisconsin most of which wouldn't be possible without your Badger spirit.
Everyone wants to know what it felt like when the 21 names were finally released; I will tell you all what I tell them, it's a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
By Olivia Jakiel, Wisconsin women's hockey
This past weekend marked the second road trip where our team chartered a plane to our destination; this time it was Providence, Rhode Island. An early departure of 5 a.m. from Camp Randall would make for a very grumpy bus ride to the airport (so you would think); however, the team was chatty and extremely bubbly (I would like to thank my four cups of coffee for that). Once we arrived we headed straight for the rink to practice, where Stef (McKeough) won the showdown again and picked Jasmine (Giles) to sing.
"Cherish every moment, because these four years will go by so fast and before you know it, you'll be a senior playing in your last collegiate game." These were the words I heard countless times from coaches, upperclassmen and alums since the time I entered this program three years ago. And like most people, I didn't believe them until I found myself beginning my last preseason ever as a Badger.
Well, Badger fans, I don't really have much to say this week. We've fallen into a pattern with our weekend games and none of us are happy about it (and I'm sure you all aren't either). With the team chartering a flight at 7 a.m. (leaving the rink at 5:15 a.m....eek!) to fly out to Providence, we hope to bring everything we've got to the rink. I mean, how can we not? This pattern has to stop and hopefully we can put an end to the inconsistency of this season this weekend.
It was disappointing that we didn't get the result we had hoped for this weekend. We battled for 90 minutes, and unfortunately came out on the losing end. But, in the words of our coaches, "As soon as the whistle blew for the end of the game, the 2010 season began." This harsh realization was hard to swallow, but then I looked around.
I still get another shot, another opportunity to play the sport I love... the seniors don't. For them, the ride stopped at the sound of that whistle. A ride for many that began during youth, evolved into a love through adolescence, and resulted in a passion by adulthood. What's left is a lifetime of memories, of moments that define the women we've become today. The harsh realization became a little easier to accept once I thought about the seniors.
It seems as if we have quite the pattern going with this whole "lose-a-game-win-a-game" thing. I'm sure you are all frustrated, Badger Fans, but I can guarantee you that we are all about 10 times as irritated. Why is this happening? Luck of the draw? Or un-luck, perhaps? I think we just need to seriously buckle down and play like we did against Minnesota.
Let's just put something into perspective real quick:
T (Taryn Francel): Game-winning goal in OT to defeat UW Green Bay
Darcy (Riley): assist to T's goal
Flann (Meghan Flannery): Lost count of own corner kick goals/how many assists off of corners and crosses??
Whit-O (Whitney Owusu): Header goal vs. Santa Clara in last minute
"Hockey" (Alev Kelter): Two (Yes, two) consecutive header goals to come back and defeat DePaul with how many minutes left??
EJ (Erin Jacobsen): UNREAL first time volley into upper 90 to defeat Northwestern with 52 seconds left
Roxy (Roxanne Carlson): Lone, game-winning goal to send Wisconsin into the Sweet 16!!
Nos (Laurie Nosbusch): Hat trick against Indiana, game-winning goal in double OT vs. Iowa
Paige (Adams): Crazy goal vs. Penn State AND lone goal vs. Michigan State
Gundy (Lauren Gunderson): Two shutouts
Moni (Monica Lam-Feist): With 18 seconds left ties Ohio State!!!
Leigh (Williams): SICK goal vs. ASU 1:39 into the game
LJ (Lindsey Johnson): BING! Enough said...
Krista (Liskevych): PK vs. North Dakota State
(Lauren) Cochlin: Second goal vs. Marquette
EVERY single individual has impacted the University of Wisconsin women's soccer teams' success this season!! If a name wasn't mentioned, it's probably due to my short-term memory loss... not to take away from any single person's accomplishment. The list above is nothing less than incredible. Look at the stats from any other team in the country and I seriously doubt you will see that many players have a substantial impact in a game, in a season, in a career.
There are very few words that can describe the emotion from the game last night. Everything, from the lights, the crowd, the bench, the entire game, is indescribable and only the people that were there will truly know what it felt like. For me, nothing to date in my life can compare to last night's victory.
Emotions and adrenaline were high through the entire 110 minutes of play. During the penalty kicks, they were raging! It could have gone either way. I knew as soon as I stepped left that I would make the final save... and that's just what happened. The rest is history.