Friday, October 07, 2005

Road Trip: Fresno

Coach cancelled our hotel reservations and we did Fresno in 1 day. Kick off was scheduled for Thursday night at 7pm so we had plenty of time to make the trip unrushed. In Coach Emily's van was my Literature group - the five of us thought we could get the outline of our myth novel project done during the ride (it was due Friday at noon). We were surprisingly successful within the first hour or so and then we all crashed.

First, and only, stop: Bakersfield - John's Incredible Pizza and Arcade. The team chose all you can eat pizza, pasta, & salad over Black Angus. The only bust about these kinds of places is that there is no meat - unless you think bacon bits, chopped boiled eggs, pepperoni or sausage toppings are a good source of protein. The dining rooms were "choose your own adventure" style - we surrounded 9 tables in the Cabin Fever room. It was log cabin-esque with a sign that said "BEARS - enter at your own risk." This place was sweet, though. I never knew arcades could be such fun without any tokens or tickets.

We killed almost 2 hours playing telephone operator, word association, the alphabet game, etc. It was a sweet time. During word association one of my teammates said "trouble" and the next one said "nicole" - winking at me. Reaccuring words were: death, puddles, sky, grass, anything to do with water. We definitely were lacking in originality as a whole =).

Finally we arrived at Fresno Pacific University where we did a team building activity and then off to the training room to prepare our bodies for the battle. The sun was setting while we started pregame warm-up and by kick-off we were showered with stadium lights. The whole night-game effect does wonders on your pschye - there's no explaining it. It brought me back to memories of high school games: a little nervous/anxious but mostly excited.

Our defense came to play that night and the Referree was calling EVERYTHING, but he was consistent in doing so. They held the Sunbirds scoreless in the first half. My fellow forward, freshman Jenny Love, scored beyond the 18 in the first. We went into halftime leading 1-0.

FPU seemed to be hanging out in our defensive half more of the game, but we were able to create more dangerous attacks. In the second half I assisted Jenny Love as she added another goal on a break away, slotting the ball on the ground pass the 'keep. We led 2-0.

In the second half Serena Bjurlin, freshman sweep, went in for a tackle in the box to drive the ball pass the by-line. It was incredibly clean and the Sunbird attack had no chance on goal. But, by no surprise, the Referee stayed true to his wimpy calls and granted FPU with a Penalty Kick. Taryne Blomgren, 'keep, nearly saved the shot driven to her left with her outstretched fist - but the force of the kick was stronger that of the block and it continued into the back of the net.

We were still leading, but now 2-1. There was 15 minutes left and our only objectives were to keep them from scoring and to put another away. Fresno was given a handful of yellowcards for cheap play. I was knocked by an FPU player and after the whistle had been blown the girl continued to kick at me while I was on the ground covering my head with my arms. Another time one of the Sunbirds threw an elbow square at face, but I was able to anticipate and move out of its way. Another girl was hanging by my jersey as I was trying to break down the field. All infractions resulted in yellow cards for the sunbirds.

There was under 3 minutes to go and we could all taste victory. We continued to attack the ball and send it to the far corners of the field. With under three minutes to go FPU mustered up a goal to tie the game 2-2. We suffered through two scoreless overtime periods and left Fresno with another tie.

After we showered and ate it was 11:30 when we actually departed for HIU. All three vans strolled through the Carl's Junior/Green Burrito at 11PM I sat shotgun in Emily's van and was the only one to stay awake the 4 plus hours home. We talked about everything - from her love life to my hometown - we played word games and even MASH. It was a revised version of MASH, though. I'm going to marry Shaquille O'neal and have 3 children, drive a Nissan Pathfinder and live in Van down by the river in Hickory, North Carolina. Emily is going to marry her current love interest Jon from Wisconsin, they are going to have 4 children, drive a Dodge Neon and live in a Studio Apartment in Fresno, CA. It didn't really work out too well for either of us. Emily says that as long as you get they guy you wanted than the rest doesn't matter - I guess I'm screwed.

We made it back to Hope at 3:36 am, all of us unloaded out of the vans and wandered sleepily to our respective dorm rooms. Fortunately I don't have class on Fridays so I slept in until noon =).

We are currently 5-5-2 overall and 0-2-2 in GSAC.
Masters College is currently 0-2-1 in the GSAC.

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