"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, November 8, 2010
Hi everyone and welcome to what unfortunately is my last blog of the year.

After a great team performance last Saturday against IPFW we were in position to make it to the Summit League Conference Tournament, and our goal would be reached with a victory in Rochester, Michigan against Oakland and a little help elsewhere around the league.

A team vote determined that we would take a bus to Michigan and avoid all of the hassles that go into flying. However, it is still a twenty hour bus ride to Rochester so we left Thursday at 12 am for a 1 pm game on Saturday afternoon. Needless to say everyone was a bit rowdy when we first boarded the bus but our bodies soon remembered it was midnight and everyone retired to their bunks. We arrived late on Thursday night and all went to our rooms after a meal at the McDonalds across the street from the hotel.

Friday, we woke up early for breakfast and just hung around the hotel until it was time to head to Oakland's campus for practice. The 1 pm practice time was strategically scheduled at the time our game would be the next day, which would give us a chance to see just how cold and windy the conditions would be for our game the following day (I failed to mention that the temperature ranged from the upper 20's to the lower 40's the entire time we were there). After a good practice, we returned to the hotel to warm up and get ready for our team dinner. Dinner was fun, as any event that allows the team to be together usually is, and we once again returned to the hotel to get some rest before our biggest game of the season which loomed large the next day.

On Saturday we woke up early again for breakfast, packed up our things, and left the hotel for Oakland's campus. After a short period in the locker room which allowed us to think a little bit about the team and individual goals for the day, we took the field for warm ups. As they usually do, warm ups flew by and it was time to play.

The first half saw the team put forth a great effort, as we resisted Oakland's direct style and actually outshot them for the period, which ended scoreless. The second half was more of the same story, with both teams trading scoring chances but neither able to break through the other's back line. About mid way through the second half Oakland got a free kick in the corner adjacent to our penalty area. The ball rattled around, bouncing off of three or four players before landing at the feet of an Oakland attacker who quickly dispatched the ball into our net for a 1-0 lead. We knew that it was time to step up our attack in search of an equalizer, as we were not going to go down without a fight. We changed our formation and began throwing players forward in search of a goal, but with less than ten minutes to go, Oakland scored another fortuitous goal and cemented both the victory, and their place in the Summit League Conference Tournament at our expense.

Needless to say the mood within the group after the game was somber, as it always seems to be at the end of a season that so much time and effort goes into. We also knew we would never all take the field together again and that some if not all of the seniors would never play competitive soccer again.

We showered and boarded the bus one final time together for our twenty hour journey back home. After a bus ride which saw everyone in surprisingly good spirits, we arrived earlier than expected (about 9 am) and all went our separate ways.

I want to thank anyone that helped our soccer team this season. Be it supporting us from the stands or helping out at team functions, we appreciate everyone's efforts in what turned out to be a great year for the Gent's Soccer Team. From mid-August until now, a lot of effort has gone into making this year go as smoothly as it did. So once again thanks to everyone and thank you again for reading.