Junior midfielder Sam Mewis is 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 34 points on 12 goals and 10 assists in her career.
It’s hard to believe that this is my 14th blog post! Season seems to be flying by, and it’s crazy to think that we are halfway done with our scheduled games.
Another concrete mark of the passing time is my birthday. I turned 21 on Wednesday! To think that I’m already in my third season as a Bruin and that my adult life is really upon me is an eye-opening realization. I think that I’m coming to terms with the fact that my personal growth needs to develop in all directions as I continue to get older. While turning 21 is meant to be a carefree celebration, for me it is coming with a lot of responsibility to better myself in every way that I can. On the field and off the field, I’m hoping that this next year of my life can be spent improving who I am.
My personal realizations aside, I think that the team has made vital progress this week in self-improvement as well. Coming off a great win on Friday against a tough Washington State team, we went into Monday night's game craving another win but coming out with a tie. In the double overtime that ensued following a scoreless 90 minutes, it seemed like we were bound to score at some point. Whatever the cause, we weren’t able to score. The game ended 0-0, and the result stung, mostly because we had what seemed like endless opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net. I have replayed several plays over in my head since Monday, and I know that if given another chance, many of us would make absolute certain to finish our chances.
But there’s almost no time to dwell on what happened this weekend, as we head to Northern California to play Stanford and Cal on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. If we want a Pac-12 title, two wins this weekend are a must, and that’s what we are setting out to accomplish. This weekend is about re-evaluating our goals as a team and coming together to prove that we have what it takes to be a championship team.
Before we left for NorCal, UCLA women’s soccer alumna Nandi Pryce came into the locker room to speak with us. She is on campus this weekend to be honorably inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. As we listened to her stories about what the team was like years ago, I think we began to get a sense of the history within the program. Nandi told us a funny story about how in the middle of their pregame talk, an older woman walked into the locker room to get her things. That not only called for some laughs, but made us realize how fortunate we are to have such a beautiful, private locker room. It’s girls like Nandi who worked so hard to get this program where it is. We all want to make sure that we are doing them justice and striving for the ultimate success that this program has yet to accomplish - a national championship.
We arrived in San Jose on Wednesday afternoon and had a light practice on Stanford’s practice field. Poor Alyssa Alarab has been taking some hits lately ... It has become kind of a joke within the team to blame her for everything. So when it was her turn to decide the team’s fate in a players vs. goalkeepers challenge, the stakes were high. If she scored a header, the players would win, but if she missed, the goalkeepers would win. Alyssa had her moment of glory as she buried the header and won the challenge for us. I wanted to give her some special recognition because she’s been given kind of a hard time this year.
Make sure to catch both of our games on the Pac-12 Network. Stanford is Thursday at 7:30pm, and Cal is Sunday at 11am. Go Bruins!