Cori and Ali's Soccer Journal, Vol. 1
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cori Dullnig

Ali Hilsher

Day 1


Move in day, my favorite day of the year.  It is filled with promises of fresh starts.  A new season in which to achieve great things, a new school year to make straight A’s, and new freshmen to torture, I mean get to know.  In all seriousness, it really is a great day minus the stresses of unpacking and organizing our rooms.  We checked in early so that we would have the whole day to unpack and mentally prepare for what we would face in the upcoming week and a half.  Later in the afternoon, we picked up our new equipment.  Thanks to an amazing sponsorship with Adidas, we got some sweet stuff including top of the line cleats, dry-fit practice jerseys, warm-up suits, and tennis shoes.  I was very excited about the new gear.  After checking in with the doctors and trainers, we prepared for the first practice of the 2006 season, the running of the beep test.  Fitness tests are never an enjoyable task, but overall we preformed very well.  Coach did not tell us what his expectations were to begin with, but only a couple of people did not meet them.  Pretty good for the first run of the season and things can only get better from here.  We finished the first day with a scrumptious dinner at Coach Evans’s house.  Mrs. Evans cooked a mean Mexican casserole and shrimp gumbo.  But it was early to bed early to rise, to rest up for what is assured to be another challenging day in the life of a Centenary soccer player.


Day 2


The first true “two-a day” started off this morning with a 6:10 a.m. breakfast in the Gold Dome. Coach Evans and Chase bought us various foods to snack on, including cereal, granola bars, and fruit.  Everyone was nervously chattering about what our second fitness test would be.  Rumor had it that we would be running the SEBCO test – a test that measures fitness but also technical ability on the ball.  But, the field was too wet…and we instead were about an hour from what we call “The Guantlet”.   After a slow, mile long jog to the track, we stretched and began the test.  The first part of the test was completing a mile around the track in 7 minutes and 30 seconds.  About two thirds of the team passed – with Lauren Mills leading the group.  Mills is a cardio machine.  We continued with 5 400 yard sprints that were to take 2 minutes a piece.  Almost everyone passed this phase of the test.  The most challenging part of the day was over and we finally got to use a ball!  We practiced for the rest of the night and then rested up! We have a long week ahead of us…!


Day 3,4, and 5


Soreness is controlling our bodies.  Taking mandatory ice baths helps, but we are all still waiting for the soreness to leave.  Morning practice was pretty light, but this evening we played our first scrimmage of the season.  Despite dead legs and sore bodies, we performed well, but definitely have a lot to improve on.  The next day we ran our third fitness test.  The Man-U test is a 110 yard run taking 25 seconds to travel there and 35 to recover.  We ran that 20 times.  It was definitely a difficult task and only five players made it through all 20 sprints. On Sunday, we played our second scrimmage and it was light years better than the first.  The speed of play was quicker, our touch was better, and we played better together as a group.  We have definitely come a long way since the first practice. 


Day 6 and 7


Surprise!! Coach Evans and Chase pulled off the biggest prank of the century! After practice on Monday Chase handed every girl a letter with their name on it.  He walked away like he was mad and harshly told us to open it.  The letter was titled "Boot Camp: 06".  It described in detail how we were going to be running, hiking, and working out with a drill instructor for the next two days.  A couple of the girls, especially the rookies, were really upset; we thought that we were done with two a days…and now we find out its only about to get more demanding??  We met for the bus that afternoon for our "four hour" bus ride.  In less than an hour, we had arrived at Grand Bayou Resort and nervously exited the bus not so ready to run.  Chase pulled us aside and told us the glorious news: we were not there for boot camp.  Instead, we would spend the afternoon boating, tubing, and generally loving life.  We learned that in place of tents we would be staying in nice cabins with beds, kitchens, and big screen televisions.  For the next two days, we played team building games, hung out by the lake, played the much loved soccer tennis, and most importantly, got to know each other better.  It was a blast.  There was a mouse in Cabin 2, which brought much laughter and enthusiasm as Chase tried to hit it with a broom.  We cooked out each night and listened to some great speakers on sports psychology and living safely at Centenary.  All in all, it was an amazing two days!!


Aug 17


This morning’s practice marks the last 6:00 breakfast for the 2006 season, hooray!!!  Too bad our body clocks still want us up at that time.  The morning session was very light.  We worked on a lot of scenarios for forwards defending.  It was tedious, but definitely was something we needed to cover before our first scrimmage.  The upperclassmen went to a late lunch at Jason’s Deli before the game while the freshman were busy representing the team at orientation.  The scrimmage was against Bossier Parish Community College.  As a whole we played very well, easily defeating our opponent.  Goals were scored by freshmen Stefani Robbs, Kristine Weaver, Mattie Weatherspoon, as well as sophomores Tracy Apgar and Michael Anne Wheeler.  Upperclassmen Bre Fletcher and Heather Kasparek also found the back of the net.  A strong defense was anchored by Joanna Bunn, Cori Dullnig, Lauren Cheaney, and Ashley Lowe with Ali Hilsher and Kate Donnelly alternating in nets.  The midfield was controlled by Lauren Stanley and Ashley Caldarola with Mattie Weatherspoon, Anna Pendergast, and Kristine Weaver taking their turn in the middle.  Lauren Mills, Tracy Apgar, Kortney Causey, and others spent time running the flanks.  All healthy players rotated in and out of the line up and performed well. 


We are all looking forward to our first exhibition game on Saturday against McNeese.  Hopefully as many people that came to our scrimmage will show up for the big game. 


*Cori Dullnig and Ali Hilsher are juniors on the women's soccer team. They will be writing an on-going journal over the entire season.