Cori and Ali's Soccer Journal, Vol. 2
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Cori Dullnig

Ali Hilsher

Week 1


Our first game, as most of you know, was last Sunday against Sam Houston State.  We showed up to the locker room about an hour and half before game time, ready to roll.  As people began to trickle into the room, you could feel the tension grow.  We were all a little nervous, yet amped for the big game.  For quite a few girls, this would be their first collegiate game.  The nerves and pressure was evident in the first five minutes of the game.  We almost got scored on twice in the opening five minutes.  The older kids got everything under control and we started to play our style.  We scored a goal right before half time and did our best to keep them under pressure for the rest of the first half.  We made a few adjustments and came out on fire in the second half.  Even though Sam Houston scored on us twice, practically back to back, we did not give up.  This is a huge step for us from last year.  This season, we don’t get down, we get fired up.  That’s exactly what happened.  We tied the game up and won it 3-2 in overtime.  It was a great game, light years better than our scrimmage against McNeese the week before.  It was great to see all our fellow student-athletes out there supporting us as well as our family and other friends.  Now it’s time to prepare for our second game of the season against Nicholls State.


This morning we departed for Thibodaux, La.  We loaded the bus and departed at 6:00 a.m., before the sun even woke up.  It was a long drive, but most of us slept through it or watched the movie Chase brought, Must Love Dogs.  We arrived a few hours before game time and ate lunch at Subway.  After lunch, we went to walk the field, or should I say swamp.  Apparently Thibodaux was hit by a big storm the night before and their field definitely showed it.  One of the corners was covered in about 4 inches of water, while the rest of the field was not much better.  When it came time to play, some of the Nicholls players had skwee-geed the corner so it was not completely submersed.  We got off to a rough start.  It was so hard to play when you pass the ball back to the defenders and it would stop in a puddle.  Nicholls scored first, but like I said, we don’t hang out heads.  We fired right back with a great cross from Lauren Mills and a finish by our young scoring machine Stefani Robbs.  We had a couple more chances, but just did not put them away.  During half time Chase told us we had to make recovery runs quicker and support faster.  He also repeatedly told us not to pass the ball back to the defense because we were standing in puddles up to our ankles.  The adjustments definitely helped us improve the game.  Heather scored a nice goal and we ended up with another win.  2-0 is a great start to this season.  Chase even took us to Chili’s afterwards to celebrate.  On the bus ride back we did study hours so that the freshmen could get in some of their six required hours for the week.  We also endured two hours of a yearly tradition by watching The American President AGAIN.  We got back to Shreveport at about 12:30 a.m., leaving us about 17 hours until our next departure. 


 After 17 hours back at Centenary, we got back on a bus and headed to play Texas State in San Marcos, TX.  We were exhausted from all the back and forth, but luckily we had the sleeper bus and thus the opportunity for some much needed rest.  Many girls napped through the 8 hour drive, but most stayed up and played a board game called “True Colors” that Anna had brought along. It was a blast. We got to learn a lot of details about our teammates and coaches and it definitely helped pass the time.  After a late arrival of 2:30 a.m. due to traffic, we went to bed and tried to prepare for the game the next day. In the morning, we went to the field for a quick training session, ate some sandwiches at the always reliable Quiznos and spent the afternoon relaxing and trying to mentally prepare for what was going to be a tough game.  Apparently, some of our girls need dead animals and hunting gear to prepare (to each his own) and so 6 of the girls went with Chase to Cabella’s.  They came back excited and full of energy from their outdoors adventure.  We grabbed a snack and headed to the field. The Centenary parents, led by Mr. Dullnig, had put together a tailgating party.  At a game which drew a record crowd of over 1,100 fans, Centenary was proudly represented by approximately 300 of its own.  Due to the large number of people in attendance, the atmosphere of the game was incredible!  The game started well; we owned them in the first thirty minutes of the game and the half ended at a 0-0 tie.  Things went downhill in the second half and we never really got our groove back.  Texas State scored twice and went on to win the game 2-0.  After the game all of the girls went back to stay with a teammate or with family that lived in the area. Lauren Mills, Cori Dullnig, Ashley Caldarola, and Tracy Apgar all were gracious enough to invite people over.  Everyone had a great time and got to sleep in real beds instead of hard hotel mattresses!