Monday, March 8, 2010

Exploring Russia- Day 7

By: Erin Lycan
Today is International Women's Day in Russia! Russia is one of 29 countries in the world that celebrate this holiday. It is a major day of celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women and all government offices are closed to observe this national holiday. In Russia, it is one of the most romantic holidays similar to a combination of Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Happy International Women’s Day to you all!

Recognize and remain conscious of momentum swings in the game: first and last 10 minutes of each half and after goals. Remember, one big play (strong header, breakaway save, crushing tackle, dangerous attack) can get us the momentum back and propel us forward.

Don’t let success go to your head and don’t let failure go to your heart.


We play Uzbekistan in our second match this morning at 10am and are looking forward to it. Also, we learned late last night that our group has been modified and now we will no longer be playing the Urals Regional Team from Russia in our third group game - now we will be playing the Under 19 Ukraine National Team. This will present a more difficult challenge for us in our third match, but we are looking forward to embracing the challenge of playing another national team.

Region I ODP – 9
Uzbekistan U19 National Team – 0


Region 1 got off to a quick start scoring in the 9th minute and carried a two-goal lead into the half. Exploding for 7 second half goals, Region 1 was led by second half substitute Jennifer Gibbons who scored two goals, and Kristen Schmidbauer who recorded three assists. Region 1 had 8 different goalscorers and had 6 players record an assist.

Following the match, the team returned to the hotel on the bus with Regina, the team’s athletic trainer, and the coaching staff remained at the field to scout our next opponent, the U19 Ukraine National Team, play against our first opponent, the Krasnodar Regional Team. A physical match with numerous fouls and cautions, Ukraine was able to win 1-0 on a direct free kick midway through the first half.

Going into our match on Wednesday against Ukraine, we know that with a win, we would secure first place in the group with 7 points and that a tie, pending other results, would place us at the minimum, tied for second place, relying on a tie-breaker to go through to the quarterfinals. At this point, we are looking at Wednesday’s match as a must win so that we can control our own destiny and after watching Ukraine play today, while they are a tough team, if we play the way we are capable of, we know that we can win.

Looking ahead to Tuesday, the team will train at 10 a.m. and following lunch at the hotel, will take a trip to downtown Sochi for some site seeing and shopping.

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