Senior midfielder Sam Mewis is back for season two of Mew's Views. Mewis helped lead UCLA to its first-ever NCAA Championship in 2013 and is back for her senior season with the added arsenal of experience playing with the full U.S. Women's National Team under her belt. Mewis, a three-time all-conference player and a 2013 NSCAA Scholar All-West Region selection, has scored 49 points on 15 goals and 19 assists in her UCLA career.
It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but here we are back in Westwood! It has been quite a year since last December when UCLA Women’s Soccer took home our first National Championship. The past eight months have been spent in the wake of December 8, 2013, but it is finally time that we forget the past and set our sights on where we hope to be - December 7, 2014. I’ll do my best to catch you up with how our year has gone up till now.
In January, we all returned to UCLA after some much-needed Christmas vacation. School started again all too soon, and the reality of morning workouts and spring season was upon us. In February and March, Abby Dahlkemper and Caprice Dydasco went to the Four Nations Tournament in Spain with the U23 Women’s National Team. Rosie White went to the Cyprus Cup with the New Zealand Women’s National Team and received her 50th international cap. Sarah Killion and I had the honor of traveling to Portugal with the Senior Women’s National Team to participate in the Algarve Cup. I was fortunate enough to get my first two caps with the full team in games against Sweden and Denmark. Not only did I see the field, but I was also able to play alongside my sister, which had been a lifelong dream for both of us.
For spring break, the team traveled to Japan to train and play against a local professional team. Although I was unable to join them, the experience of spending time in a foreign country was eye-opening for everyone involved. The girls had all sorts of adventures and fun, which some of you were hopefully able to follow via the #BruinsInJapan campaign.
Spring season took off in April, during which we got to play the U20 Women’s National Team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Katelyn Rowland has recently made the roster for their U20 World Cup, which kicked off on Tuesday in Canada. We are rooting for her and the rest of the girls as they play Brazil and China over the next few days.
May and June seemed everlasting, as we continued to have school but weren’t allowed to practice as a team per NCAA rules. Many of us joined various different summer club leagues, including the LA Blues, who went on to win the W-League National Championship a few weeks ago. Abby, Caprice, Sarah and Taylor Smith were a part of that team; they are deserving of a big congratulations!
I was able to go home for a portion of June and July to train with the Boston Breakers. During that time, Rosie and Belden Long came to visit me at home. We were able to spend a lot of time in my hometown and in the city. It was fun to experience Boston as a tourist would. We went to Fanueil Hall, the North End, Plymouth Rock, and did some other fun local activities. My friends from home really enjoyed meeting them both, and it was so cool for me to see my two worlds kind of come together.
Last week, we all came back to campus a little early for some captains’ workouts and training. It was awesome to get to know the freshmen, as they crashed with us in our apartments until the official report date. We maintained our optional summer morning workouts and added in some extra team training and fun activities in the afternoons. One night we went to dinner at the food trucks in Venice, and another day we all headed to the beach. It’s been a blast to house some of the younger girls and try to help them get the hang of things. Rosie, Sarah and I have had some laughs with Reema Bzeih and Sam Kokoska in our little one-bedroom apartment.
In other exciting news, some of our Bruin alumni from just last season have started their professional careers in the NWSL with a bang! Jenna Richmond has been a great weapon for FC Kansas City, while Chelsea Stewart has been making a name for herself with the Boston Breakers. It’s so exciting to see some of our friends making it happen in the soccer world, as many of us seniors plan to graduate early this December and attempt to do the same thing.
We officially got started on Tuesday with some meetings and a team dinner. The rest of the week will bring fitness testing and- finally- the soccer that we have all been waiting for. I’m looking so forward to our first scrimmage next Friday against Texas A&M and the rest of our challenging schedule this fall. It’s hard to believe that this is my senior year, along with Abby, Caprice, Sarah, Rosie, Katelyn, Megan Oyster, Kylie McCarthy, and Ally Courtnall. This fall will be our last chance to represent UCLA Women’s Soccer, and we only hope that we can do the program justice and bring home another National Championship.
Wish us luck during two-a-days! See you next week. Go Bruins!