Junior midfielder Sam Mewis will be blogging for UCLABruins.com during the 2013 season. Mewis is a regular with the U.S. Women's Youth National Team and a two-time all-conference selection who has scored 28 points on nine goals and 10 assists in her two years as a Bruin.
This week has been packed with events and activities as we wrap up our summers and start to prepare ourselves for preseason next week. Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion, and Caprice Dydasco flew to Florida last weekend to play in the W-League National Championship game with their summer team, the Pali Blues. They won the final on Sunday, 1-0, and are now both Western Conference Champions and W-League Champions!
Sarah also celebrated her 21st birthday on Saturday, so a big Happy Birthday to her as well! A bunch of us got together to celebrate and have a cookout by the pool. We all chipped in to buy her a miniature grill, which she loved and will definitely put to good use.
While those three were playing for Pali in Florida, Crystal Shaffie, Rosie White, Kylie McCarthy and I went to a John Mayer concert in Irvine with our former teammate Erin Cole. We drove down to Erin’s house in Orange County and had a nice cookout before the concert. It was an awesome performance, and we all had so much fun. We celebrated it as kind of a last hurrah of summer because it’s really getting down to crunch time for preseason.
Most of us on campus this week are taking our Summer Session A finals today and tomorrow, and about 10 of us are in the process of moving. I’m personally looking forward to a new start at a new apartment and to finishing up with my two classes. All of us returning players have been waiting for preseason since last November, and now that it’s finally upon us, I think we are all more than eager to get going.
Last year was a tough loss for us against Stanford in the Elite 8. The most frustrating part for me was giving up a 1-0 lead, which was what happened in our game against them during Pac-12 play previously in the season. While I think we were a different team during tournament, the outcome was the same, and that was extremely disappointing for us as a whole. We left Northern California more disappointed than anything, and I for one still have a bitter taste in my mouth about the turnout of last year.
But looking forward, we have a completely new experience ahead of us. For one, we have a new coaching staff as we welcome Amanda and Josh from the University of Central Florida. We have a bunch of incoming freshmen that have been talked about since some of them committed two years ago. The underclassmen have become upperclassmen. We have all learned so much from our experience here as UCLA student-athletes, and I really think that this year should demonstrate our preparedness and desire for success.
With that said, the rest of the team will join us here in Westwood on Tuesday for our first team meeting. The fitness tests and practices will start following that meeting. We are down to three weeks until our first game against Northeastern at Drake. The next few weeks will be crucial to our success as a team this season as we all finally get together and form new traditions, standards, and habits. I can’t wait to see what preseason will be like and what the 2013 season will consist of.
Crystal and some of the other seniors came up with a really cool team motto that we have hanging in our locker room. It says, “1 day at a time, 1 rep at a time, 0 excuses” with the numbers all lined up to spell out 110. It’s a constant reminder for us of our goal for this season and the attitude that it is going to take every day to get us there. I think that it is a perfect motto for our group right now.
That’s all for this week. Go Bruins!