Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Exploring Russia- Day 9

By: Erin Lycan
Ukraine Match Summary:

Region 1 got off to a quick start scoring in the 10th minute when a handball was called inside the penalty area and a penalty kick was awarded. Kristen Schmidbauer stepped up and buried the ball in the back of the net to give Region 1 the 1-0 lead that they carried into halftime. To start the second half, Ukraine scored on a direct kick in the 43rd minute on a direct kick from just outside the penalty area to tie the score at 1-1. The match, that was physical in nature, was played on an artificial surface due to the wet weather conditions. Region 1 out shot Ukraine 10-3 in the match and recorded 4 corner kicks to their 1.

By virtue of today’s result, Ukraine has won Group C with 7 points (2 wins and one draw) and Region 1 has finished 2nd in Group C with 5 points (1 win and two draws). By virtue of their second place finish in Group C, Region 1 has advanced to the Quarterfinals and will play against the U19 National Team from Turkey on Friday, March 12th at a time to be announced.

Following lunch this afternoon, the coaches met individually with all 16 players to review current status, progress, and thoughts moving forward throughout the remainder of the event. This afternoon, the team will enjoy some down time, followed by dinner, and a skit presentation that they will perform for the other teams participating in the tournament.

The team did very well on the skit portion of the night and it was hilarious watching them come up with a routine over the course of a few hours. They did a dance medley that went from Soulja Boy, to Miley Cyrus(Party in the USA), to Cupid Shuffle, to Cotton Eyed Joe, to end on Darude’s Sandstorm. I do believe they’ve set the bar for the rest of the presentations. As with everything else, the leadership and synchronicity that they are practicing bodes well for the actions we are asking them to execute on the field…hopefully the creativity and confidence will carry over as well!

Thursday, March 11th

We've had a few internet complications today and are getting this update to you a little later than we hoped, but we hope you will enjoy it!

Last night the team performed their “skit.” Each team is asked to perform one skit as entertainment for the other teams during this event. As noted on the last post, our team rehearsed their performance in the extra space on the fifth floor of the hotel (despite the constant cigarette smoke pouring out of the Chinese team trainer’s room) and managed to choreograph quite a routine.
This morning, following breakfast, the team traveled over an hour each way by bus with the Chinese National Team to and from the Iabga Mountain. This mountain has 4 different slopes on it and will be the site for the following events for the 2014 Olympics: Alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski-jump, bobsled, skeleton, and the luge and we were told it is 8,000 feet high.

The team rode the gondolas to the top of the mountain, with 3 stops on the way up to change gondolas. Each gondola on the average held 4-6 members of our team. Because we weren’t sure of the length of the gondola ride up and down the mountain, we had planned an activity for the players in the gondolas. On Wednesday, each player on the team was asked to submit two pieces of information:

1 – one fact about themselves that was not common knowledge

2 – one question for discussion

We compiled the discussion topics and then in a separate section, we anonymously compiled the interesting facts about each person. A competition was held to see which group could score the highest by correctly guessing the person associated with the facts. These have not yet been graded, but it will be interesting for sure to see what everyone thought.

One additional bit about today’s trip…our team engaged in an intense, but fun, snowball fight with the Chinese team. We’ve included several photos from the battle – it was fun for those who participated and even more enjoyable to watch!

Following lunch and some downtime at the hotel, the team held a light training session on the grounds of the hotel. After a jog (that included a sing-a-long song), the field players worked with coaches Mike and Erin in a tactical offensive position competitive activity, while Coach Fran took the goalkeepers to a nearby tennis court for some fun handling, coordination, and reaction repetitions, followed by a game of goalkeepers versus the coach (2 vs. 1) soccer tennis match.  At the end of the session, the team played a fun game of "River/Bank" and returned to the hotel to clean up before dinner. Following dinner, the team watched video from the Ukraine match and then had functional meetings - the forwards and midfielders met with Coaches Mike and Erin and the defenders and goalkeepers met with Coach Fran.

Breakfast tomorrow is at 9am for the team, followed by a 11:15 departure for the field for our Quarterfinal match against Turkey......wish us luck!


If tomorrow’s match is tied at the end of 80 minutes, there will be no overtime, and the game will go directly to penalty kicks to decide the game’s winner, and ultimately who advances to the Semi-Finals.


Putting pressure on the ball forces players to panic, play predictable, and ultimately turn the ball over to us.


In 80 minutes, you can create a lifetime of memories.

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