"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, October 11, 2010
Hello everyone, welcome back.

This weekend's game against UMKC was our most crucial game yet, as the result of the game could either have put us in second place in conference, needing to win only one more game to make it into the conference tournament, or moved us out of fourth place which would require us to most likely win two of our remaining three games to make it to the tournament. Working against us was the fact that this crucial game came against the team that was number one in our conference in the preseason poll, a team that we entered the game with a 2-10 record against.

After our customary week of preparation for UMKC, before we knew it and it was Friday and the game loomed large on the horizon. It was a run-of-the-mill Friday night (for soccer season at least) of sitting around, watching sports, and thinking about the challenge we would all face the next day.

Saturday seemed to drag on forever. I was up around 10 AM and immediately ready to get the game underway, although it would have to wait about nine hours to do so. I passed the time with my usual Saturday routine of watching college football and letting my body rest up for the night.

After a good meal and plenty of rest, five o'clock rolled around and it was time to head for the locker room. The atmosphere in the locker room seemed extremely focused and as I walked in it was unusually quiet, especially considering how boisterous some of our guys can sometimes be. Regardless, it seemed like everyone was ready to put in the work and come out with a win.

Warm ups went well, and once again before we knew it, it was time to play. The whistle blew and UMKC immediately enjoyed a long possession of the ball, something we had expected after doing some research on them. It took us time to settle in and start executing our game plan, but after about 20 minutes we began to really play and the game was much more even.

The first half ended scoreless, with both team creating some chances but nothing too threatening. We had been down this road before, and we knew if we were not able to find a quick goal in the second half we would be headed for our third consecutive overtime game. Both teams battled in the second half in what became an extremely physical game, but nobody was able to find the back of the net. The scoreless tie ended with about twenty minutes to play when after gifting UMKC a corner kick, we conceded a goal when one of their players ran to the near post and headed the ball off of the crossbar again. We pushed more people into our attack in search of an equalizing goal, but were not able to breech the UMKC defense and the game ended 1-0 in their favor.

This game showed us that we can play with any team we will face this year, something we have believed since day one. However, we also learned that in such a close game we can not afford to give the other team opportunities to score, as they will all pounce on such opportunities. With a week off from conference play, we will face HBU next week and then begin preparing for our next conference foe.

Thanks for reading.