Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Behind the Scenes with D.C.F.H.: Team Bonding

Following a great day of competition with Virginia Commonwealth, the field hockey team dressed up as “famous families” for a post-game meal and night of bowling. The team is divided up into families for bonding and mentoring efforts.  Click here to check out a video update of how the team is doing and to hear more about what they do off the field to grow closer as a team. 

The Osbourne Family
The Royal Family 

The Turner Family 

The Griffin Family (Family Guy)

The Kardashians

Inside the 2013 Davidson Men's Soccer Season with Coleman O'Neill

Inside the 2013 Davidson Men's Soccer Season with Coleman O'Neill: Edition 3

On Boston and the Undefeated Start

Hello again Davidson Nation! In the past week we’ve been to Boston, Farmville, and Alumni Stadium, and we have extended our win streak to four in a row. Oh boy, winning feels good.

Members of the Davidson men's
soccer team on the roof of the
DoubleTree Hotel in Boston.
Most recently, we played Campbell at home and were away at Longwood. The Campbell game was an entertaining 3-2 affair. We tied the game twice after being down 1-0 and 2-1, and were able to get the game-winner off of the tricky feet of Valeriy. Next, we traveled to Longwood. We enjoyed their awesome stadium and facilities. Our game-winner came off the head of Alec, whose “slam dunk” header inspired the return of his deft somersault celebration. After the game, we were humbled to meet and hear from Rob Ukrop ’93.

Our trip to Boston was phenomenal. Although it was a quick trip, we were able to get a brief taste of the city and Harvard’s athletic side of campus during our stay. Most importantly, we got to celebrate the homecoming of Westford, Massachusetts native, Chris Pettiglio. After stuffing ourselves on pasta at Al Dente in Boston’s Little Italy, followed by a pregame practice, the Pettiglios hosted the team and visiting family for dinner. We found ourselves amongst more great food and even better company. The warm reception we received at the Pettiglios added to the image of Davidson Soccer as a family, an image I have seen prevail through my three years on the team. At the end of a great weekend consisting of warm DoubleTree cookies, a view of Harvard’s archaic football stadium, and a gutsy win over our tough Ivy League opponent, the most rewarding moment came in the reception given to us by family, friends, and alumni at the game. Even though we were in New England, we were at home.

As we approach the start of SoCon play, we are collectively focusing on taking each game one at a time. We don’t dwell too long on what we have done, and we don’t speculate too far ahead on where we could be. Instead, we get the most out of every moment on and off the field, with the confidence in knowing that no matter where we are or what the score is, We Can’t Stop, We Won’t Stop.

Until next time,



Inside the 2013 Davidson Men's Soccer Season with Coleman O'Neill: Edition 2
Welcome back Wildcat soccer fans! With the completion of preseason last weekend, Men’s Soccer regrouped and got ready for the start of the regular season and the beginning of a new school year. Fortunately, we were accustomed to waking up early for preseason morning practice, so the 8:30 class on Monday morning wasn’t too hard to get to (though Matt Pacifici may disagree, as his “zombie walk” could only have been more complete if he was wearing last night’s pajamas and holding his teddy bear).

Our first game – and home opener- was against a relatively new opponent, Navy. The excitement was building all throughout the week, as we looked to act upon lessons learned from our last preseason game against a strong Charlotte side. Along with making sure there were fewer gaps in our team defense, the emphasis this week was also on attacking as a group, with more fluidity and constant movement off the ball.

The game versus Navy was very exciting. The vibrant crowd inspired us to get the game-tying goal, on a rip from outside the box off the left foot of Jake Keator. Though we preferred the tie to a loss, we were still not satisfied with our performance in the season opener. We would need to be better in our match just two days later against Marshall.

Our fall schedule typically sets us up to play a game every fourth or fifth day. As a result, the second game in a three-day stretch is always intriguing. The game versus Marshall was no exception. First, we endured a lightning delay before the game, setting back the kickoff time by more than an hour. A delay like this can be tricky to overcome. Mentally, guys are gradually preparing themselves for peak performance, using the time in the locker room to both motivate themselves for battle and to stay focused on their game and positional goals. However, after hearing news of a lightning delay, we don’t know exactly when we are going to get on the field. Amidst the rises and dips of energy levels in the locker room during this period, guys also start to get antsy from being in a tight locker room with 24 other players taking up space. In order to stay mentally and physically loose, we did light activities such as arm wrestling and a synchronized dance, which quickly turned into a salsa lesson led by the fancy feet and rhythmic hips of Kristian Garciam√©ndez-Rowold.

Once the lightning had cleared, we ran onto the field and quickly showed that we were more awake than our opponents, as we built a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game. We maintained our two-goal lead through the remainder of the match and celebrated our first win of the 2013 season. Despite our victory, coaches and players still stressed the need for improving our quality on the ball and developing our “killer instinct” on the field. This could involve putting teams away with a stifling defensive tackle or, perhaps more effectively, with a clinical finish on goal. This team, and especially the seven seniors, is beginning to fully grasp the need to seize and take advantage of every opportunity this season. Soccer is unique in how the most talented team does not always win. We will have success this year as we continue to fight for, and ultimately win, each and every moment.

For now, we are off to Boston. Until next time…




Inside the 2013 Davidson Men's Soccer Season with Coleman O'Neill: Edition 1

Greetings Wildcat supporters! My name is Coleman O’Neill and I’m heading into my senior season with the Davidson Men’s Soccer team. I’m happy to report that this team, this brotherhood, is carrying some very positive vibes. We all have high hopes and aspirations for our final season playing in the Southern Conference.

Before the official preseason began with meetings on August 13th, the players gathered several days earlier for Captains’ Practices, or “pre-preseason”. During this period, we stayed at a rental house in Lake Norman State Park. Pre-preseason is important for us in two ways. First, it allows the players to train together before we start with the coaches, so we are both physically and mentally ready to play our best once official preseason begins. In
Members of the 2013 Davidson men's
soccer team enjoying a preseason meal.

addition, we build strong relationships off the field. This is particularly important for our team dynamic, as the upperclassmen become familiar with the incoming freshmen, and vice versa. At the house, we all ate together, played lots of board games and card games, and watched scary movies. Alan Reiter and John Pace won the award for best theatrics after the scary movies. 

After five days of training at the practice fields, running fitness tests, and losing to Valeriy Sviderskiy in numerous games of “kemps”, we moved into our dorms on campus and Preseason Phase #1 began. Before hitting the practice field, the coaches gathered us to discuss our team’s principles of play, as well as our theme for this year: Brotherhood. Our discussion of this theme set the tone for our goals this season. We furthered this mindset later on when we met with school psychologist Dr. John Brunelle. Ultimately, we established a mutual agreement: this team’s success on the field would go hand in hand with the brotherhood we will continue to form in the pursuit of success in the Southern Conference this season.

We had three full days of training before our opening preseason match against UNC Asheville. For each preseason practice, the seniors decided upon a word to keep in our minds throughout the day. “Energy” was chosen for the first day, “Creativity” for the second, and “Consistency” for the third. The aim was to exude an energetic presence in establishing team defense, to play creatively in attack, and to consistently perform at a high level heading into our first preseason game.

In our 2-2 opening draw against UNC Asheville, we enjoyed much of the possession and controlled the field position, as the ball was kept in our opponent’s half for a majority of the game. Big ups to freshman Max “Nelly” Pragnell for coming in and scoring two big time goals. He also earned other nicknames based on the way he “scoots” around the opposing defenders. Despite holding our opponent to few shots on our goal, Asheville was able to capitalize on two of our defensive lapses, matching our two goals. The goals conceded were very fixable mistakes, as our defense was very strong throughout the contest.

The intensity during Preseason Phase #2 continues to be high as we gear up for an exciting challenge against nationally ranked UNC Charlotte this weekend. Although it’s labeled a preseason game, we are thrilled for the challenge of beating a great team and cross-town rival. Personally, I am doing everything I can to recover from a concussion I suffered late last Spring. Although I cannot yet participate fully with the team, I am enjoying the process of being the best teammate and captain I can be. Like anything else in sports, it is a journey that must be cherished. Each one of us on this team has his own journey, and when our goals and ambitions are combined to one, each individual journey connects to make one. We are all excited to embark on the journey we have set for ourselves, to make our final year in the Southern Conference a successful one and to strengthen an everlasting brotherhood.

Go Davidson!

Coleman O’Neill

Monday, August 26, 2013

MBB European Tour Final Journal by Tyler Kalinoski

Journal Entry #7 – Saturday, August 25, 2013
By Junior Tyler Kalinoski

As we woke up for an early morning breakfast Friday morning, some of us felt recharged from the previous day of leisure. For others, including myself, we woke up sore legs from the grueling hike up the Alps. After another great meal in the hotel we changed into our running shoes and met out on the tennis court located right outside of our hotel. There, coach Matt McKillop lead us in some stretching before Chris Hagemann took us through a moderate exercise to get our blood flowing and our bodies loose for the upcoming game. The exercise consisted of some push-ups, planks, lunges, curls, and tricep extensions.

After the workout everyone went back into their rooms to shower and take naps before our pre-game meal at 1:30. Although we were upset that we couldn’t order dessert before the game, we all felt satisfied from the amazing meal and the outstanding fresh mozzarella balls.

At 4:15 we departed for Sondrio to play BM Italia Sondrio, which was the same team that we had beaten on Wednesday. We arrived at about 5:30 to find ourselves in a gym that used opened doors as the only form of air conditioning. The game started slow as we were unable to knock down shots. We quickly adjusted and gave ourselves a substantial lead heading into half time. We never let down and the game finished with a score of 93-45 giving us a 5-1 record for our European adventure. After the game we traveled back to the hotel for another highly anticipated meal and dessert. The team then walked around the town one last time to enjoy our last night in the amazing town of Bormio.

After finishing packing and eating a quick breakfast we left the hotel Saturday morning and headed to Lake Como. After a good three hours of travel and a little mishap with the directions we finally made it to our hotel. We were happy to discover free Wi-Fi in the center of the city so we all put on our bathing suits and headed to get some lunch in the city center.

Instagram: Jordan Barham

While eating we were able to watch scenes for a movie being shot in the city center that appeared to be similar to Disney’s High School Musical. We were unable to find a good spot to swim in the lake so we went back to the hotel to relax before a 7:30 dinner at a restaurant that was located right along the lake. Although it was a rainy night, we still had a beautiful view of the lake while we ate at our last restaurant of the trip. To finish off our last night we all walked around the city to buy some of our last gelato and use some free Wi-Fi to talk to our families and check social media.

This trip has brought me great excitement for the upcoming year. I can speak for everyone on this team when I say how thrilled I am to get back to Davidson and show what this team is capable of. The relationships we have made on this trip with one another became very evident in the way we played. This trip not only helped us with our chemistry on the court, but it has also given us some extra practice time so the freshman can get accustomed to how we play. We are all very grateful for this opportunity and for everyone who helped make this happen. We are going to surprise a lot of people this year! GO CATS!

Tyler Kalinoski

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MBB European Tour Journal #6 by Jake Belford

Journal Entry #6 – Thursday, August 22, 2013
By Sophomore Jake Belford

The coveted tiramisu (Photo by Brian Sullivan)
Wednesday arrived, and we all met downstairs to enjoy yet another delicious and well-balanced breakfast. I went with the Nutella toast and almost everyone grabbed two or three of the infamous yet simple, powdered sugar croissants with a side of milk.

The afternoon was fairly uneventful with mostly everyone resorting back to their rooms to catch a nap or enjoy the Italian version of Taking Pelham 123 (a Connor Perkey favorite). After our downtime, we gathered downstairs to enjoy a plethora of meats and mini grilled cheese sandwiches as a snack to carb load before our game.

The short walk to our venue, made easy by the beautiful scenery of the small city of Bormio and the wondrous backdrop of the Alps took no more than 10 minutes. The absence of manager, Will Thoni, and five other players made warm-ups seem a bit odd, leading to a bit of a slow start, but once we got going, we cruised to another convincing win.

Dinner started off great, but rumors started swirling about regarding the absence of the Hotel Palace's tiramisu dessert that night. Rumors quickly turned into fact but despite the squad's collective sigh of disappointment, we enjoyed the meal and all gathered in the lobby to explore what the small side streets of Bormio had to offer. Our instincts took us to yet another gelato spot and not a drop of delicious frappe was left in any of our cups.

After breakfast the next morning, we ventured over to the local arena for a shoot around to get some shots up before the highly anticipated Bormio 3000 adventure led by chief expedition leader, Brian Sullivan. While a few of us stayed back (including me) to enjoy some relaxing downtime, the others took to the mountainside.
De'Mon Brooks chose the pool (Photo by De'Mon)

"It was a rather smooth ascension thanks to a savvy expedition leader and a loyal team," says Brian Sullivan. He adds, "this however, was not the case for all as the coaching staff chose to take their own more indirect (and really slow) route up."

Some of the hikers remarked on a brief moment of panic as Chris Czerapowicz went missing, but soon found him a ways down the slope catching a few rays. At about the 2700 meter mark, most of the group turned back to head back to the hotel, while a few others ventured up to the summit to take in the breathtaking view of the Italian alps. Everyone arrived back safely and in one piece, and adjourned to the spa to rest their sore legs from the trek. We wrapped up our night at dinner and made sure not to miss another opportunity to enjoy the tiramisu.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MBB European Tour Journal #5 by Brian Sullivan

Photo by Jake Belford
Journal Entry #5 – Tuesday, August 20, 2013
By Sophomore Brian Sullivan

As the alarms sounded early Monday morning, we packed our bags, stuffed croissants into our faces and boarded for what we were told was a 5 hour trip to Bormio. After two hours or so of napping and no air conditioning, the shirtless team disembarked the bus for lunch at Sirmoinn. Sirmoinn was a beautiful island, surrounded by a lake and the Alps from a distance. The brave ones went for a quick swim before we entered the sauna on wheels for the much longer leg of the trip. Sirmoinn to Bormio was a long trip, but filled with sights many of us had never seen before. The Alps were an unbelievable sight and made me question my fear the mountains that line I-77 on the route from Columbus, Ohio to Davidson. We arrived in Bormio around 7 or so, and were immediately hit by the cool air as most of us were still in beach attire.

While the bus ride was treacherous and tested our character, I speak for the team when I say it was worth it partially because of the breathtaking views, but mostly because of the food. Dinner was a 4-6 course meal, depending on how hungry you were, that no one wanted to end. I will tell my kids about the tiramisu we had for dessert. Tiramisu joined pizza, pasta, bread, and gelato for foods that won't ever quite taste the same after this trip. After recovering from dinner the team toured around the small, but neat town of Bormio, and it's shops restaurants before heading to bed pretty early (mostly so breakfast would come faster).

Tuesday morning started with another delicious meal at the hotel and from there we headed to the mountains. We took a gondola to Bormio 2000, which was an adventure in itself (ask the noticeably shook Will Thoni) and unfortunately the Gondola to Bormio 3000 was under repair, but after many, many pictures and talk of Instagram selections, we started a hike to Bormio 3000. By my calculations we got to about Bormio 2100 and called it a day before fatigue and the idea of playing a game made us postpone the hike to 3000 until Thursday.

Team photo at Bornio 2000

Some down time and another 4 course meal later, we were back on the bus (with air conditioning this time) on our way to Malnate for our fourth game of the trip. Malnate had a small gym, but had by far the biggest crowd of any team we've played. Their fans were definitely excited about playing an American team. A few minutes into the first quarter, once the tiramisu was shed off and we were in a rhythm we extended our lead en route to a large margin of victory. We played a very fast paced game and really excelled at running the break. While the score was not very close, it remained a rather passionate game. Unfortunately after the game we parted ways with the freshman, Andrew, Jack and Joe, who have fit it in seamlessly both on and off the court. This trip has definitely helped speed up the learning process and their familiarity with the Davidson program.

It has been an incredible experience for all of us and we look forward to seeing how it carries us into the year!

Sent from my iPhone [Editor's note: Impressed that there were no autocorrect issues in this. Well done, Brian.]

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