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 40 points on 14 goals and 12 assists in her career.
Last Friday we played our first game of the NCAA tournament and defeated San Diego State, 3-0. We were pleased with the result, but I think we all know that we are still capable of playing even better. Fortunately, we get another chance to prove this as we play Kentucky this Friday in the second round. We have had a busy week preparing for this upcoming game and are really excited to hopefully showcase what we have been working on. It’s really down to the wire at this point in season, and it’s all about going into each game focused and ready to work hard. This is a huge and decisive weekend for us as both a team and a program, and we really want to prove ourselves with a victory on Friday.
In preparation, we’ve been working on some things in the final third this week. The team is divided into three platoons - Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, and when we do finishing drills it is usually a competition between the three platoons. The team that wins gets a “bar” on their pyramid, which we are aiming to complete by the end of the school year. It has gotten very competitive (which I think is the point) but let me just say… Alpha is definitely on the way to the top.
It has also been hard to ignore the fact that despite our exciting schedule over the next few weeks, Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching! We are already in Week 8 of school, and with only a few classes left before finals, I think reality is starting to set in. The end of the fall is really in sight now, which makes the time that we do have left of even more importance. It’s unbelievable that Chelsea Stewart, Alana Munger and Jenna Richmond will be packing up for good come the second week of December. It’s also crazy to think that we will all be home for a few weeks at that time. I am looking so forward to spending some time in good, cold Massachusetts - but hopefully it is as a National Champion!
We had the opportunity to speak with Lauren (Cheney) Holiday last week, and she shared with us some details about her time at UCLA. It was inspiring to see someone who is playing at such a high level (Lauren was NWSL Player of the Year) that was so recently in our shoes. Her advice was helpful and motivating and made us realize that we have a lot to do to represent this program well. Sydney Leroux also came out to train with us on Monday, which was another great experience. Having a world-class player out at practice with us will only challenge us to be better and work harder. We would like to thank both Lauren and Sydney for being such impressive role models and ambassadors for UCLA Women’s Soccer.
I also had the opportunity to speak for UCLA Women’s Soccer on the Bruin Insider Show at Barney’s Beanery this week. I felt very honored to be on the same show as head football coach Jim Mora, who spoke about football’s senior game this weekend. Also appearing on the show were the inspiring former Bruin athletes Nick Ekbatani and Lindsey Pluimer. It was a cool experience, and I am glad to have been a part of it!
So we continue to prepare for this weekend, hoping to come away with two wins and a spot in the Elite 8. Friday will be a great game against Kentucky and one that we cannot take lightly. Come out to Drake Stadium at 7:30 PM to support, or listen to the live stream online. Go Bruins!