"On the Sidelines with Candace Rushing"
Friday, October 2, 2009
Like the beginning of any season, thrill and excitement fills the minds and hearts of every athlete prior to the first kick off, tip off, or pitch of the opening game. Although we, the Ladies Soccer team, are well past our first game (8-1), the excitement and thrill inside of us is only getting stronger. Evidence of this was obvious last weekend in two tough battles verse Houston Baptist University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Last Friday night on Mayo field was not an easy game for us Ladies. Both teams came out hard, however talent and hard work came out in freshman Hisa Turner and Senior Kristine Weaver. Due to focus, Turner was able to deflect a cross off to Weaver who pushed the ball past the goal line for the one and only goal of the game. This proved to be enough throughout the entire game as HBU could not get past our keeper, Freshman Deb Hill.

Traveling to Pine Bluff Sunday was rough from the get go. Leaving campus at 6:00 am, the girls knew the day was going to be a challenge simply to stay awake. Scoring twice in the first 13 minutes, Pine Bluff woke us up rather quickly. With just three minutes left in the game, Sophomore's Katie Valdez and Ashely Dolezel each found the back of the net sending the game into overtime. Moving from a two forward system to a four forward system in the last few minutes of regulation, Coach Chase Wooten was not willing to lay down and die. Remaining scoreless in the first over time, the game went into a final double over time. Following Wooten's lead, freshman Kelly Fossard chose not to lay down and die either, scoring the winning goal in the last 41 seconds of the game. Although this past weekend was crucial to win, the real test begins tonight verse South Dakota State, our first conference game.

Representing the Summit League in the national tournament last season, South Dakota State is full of skill and talent. Traveling buddy North Dakota State is not far behind. Both Friday night and Sunday afternoon games will be challenging. Regardless of the statistics however, we are ready to give them both a good game. Tearing her ACL last summer, Senior Lauren Stanley knows what it is like to sit on the sidelines during conference games. Making an impact on the field this season that was absent last fall, Stanley plays with a new attitude. Before every game she reminds the girls to "Play for the moment with a reason in mind...you never know when it will be your last." Beginning tonight in the locker room Stanley will add on to the inspiration with, "The difference in each and every conference game comes down to high intensity and heart...let's do it." With a will to win and a drive to get better every game unmatched by most, I believe in my team.

Stop what you are doing and take out your calendar. Book appointments for 7:00 pm Friday the 2nd (tonight) and 1:00 pm Sunday the 4th at Mayo field. More than ever, this is the time that we need support, confidence, and loud voices radiating onto the field from the stands. During this summer, pre-season, and non-conference season, we have been working towards tonight, our first conference game. Come and be a part of this special time in our season. Before you go, check out three more of my teammates below: Juniors Catharine Depew and Emily McManus along with Freshman Kelly Fossard.

Coming from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, these three girls not only bring diversity, but a lot of talent from their home towns. Catie and Emily reside on the back line where they have kept goals to a minimum this season, while Kelly makes plays happen in the midfield already scoring 2 goals in her college career. Look for Catie #23, Emily #29, and Kelly #12 tonight under the lights.

Catharine Elizabeth Depew "Catie" or "Pepper"
Birthday: March 19, 1989
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Best soccer memory: Scoring against Southern Utah my freshman year.
Funniest Memory of Chase: Chase saying, "Hey girl Hey!"
Pre-game routine: Listen to music, eat a Tropical Tie-dye Fruit Roll-Up, and stretch
Something no one knows about you: I played the violin in 5th grade and the flute in 6th and 7th grade.
If you could play any other sport, what would it be?: Field Hockey

Emily Jeanne McManus
Birthday: September 20, 1988
Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
Favorite Cafeteria food: Make your own cupcake!
Biggest Pet peeve: Smelly burps
Funniest Memory of Chase: Racing the rest of the team in a kiddie cart at Gator Park in Little Rock, Arkansas
Something No one knows about you: I have a soft spot for fat little kids-they are adorable!
Favorite professor: Dr. Shepherd

Kelly Meredith Fossard
Birthday: April 3, 1991
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Favorite Cafeteria food: Chocolate chip cookies
Favorite Inspirational quote: "You can't just beat a team; you have to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see you again" Mia Hamm
Something No one knows about you: I wear colored contacts
Favorite professor: KVC