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 three-time all-conference selection who has scored 49 points on 15 goals and 19 assists in her career.
We did it! On Dec. 8, we beat Florida State in the National Championship game, 1-0, with a goal from Kodi Lavrusky in overtime. Winning UCLA’s 110th National Championship and the first for the women’s soccer program was made even more special by doing so with such an amazing group of people. It was such a long and challenging road, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so proud of our team and feel so fortunate to have been a part of something so special and meaningful.
The College Cup weekend went by in a flash; Thursday night we took a limo to the banquet, where we had a nice dinner and got to mingle with the other teams. Friday we prepared for our game against Virginia, which ended up going into penalty kicks. Virginia was such a talented team, and we had to pull off quite a comeback with a goal from Ally Courtnall in the last five minutes to get us into overtime. Katelyn Rowland came up huge in the PKs, making two saves out of four shots. After that game, I think we all could sense that winning the final was within out control. We prepared well, and with support from countless UCLA staff, family members, friends and each other, we went into Sunday feeling confident and excited.
The game was a battle, and winning was surreal. I remember watching as Megan Oyster played an unbelievable ball through to Kodi. I stood still and said, “Oh my God,” as I saw that Kodi was about to score. When she did, I immediately started crying hysterically - I was so happy! It was a very emotional moment for me and the team as a whole. The feeling of that victory is a memory that I will cherish forever.
I want to thank our coaching staff - Amanda Cromwell, Josh Walters, Louise Lieberman, Aline Reis and Sam Greene - for making this season unforgettable. I also want to thank Michelle Jenkins for continuing to support us wholeheartedly throughout the tournament, even when her new job required her to leave the staff. We can’t tell you guys how much the coaching staff has taught us and helped us develop as people and players.
I also want to thank our extended team staff. Our trainer, Max Bertman, has been there for us all season for every injury that we have picked up. His assistant trainers, Kira and Shayan, also demonstrated tremendous dedication to our team. Our strength and conditioning coach Mike Linn has inspired us and conditioned us all year long. He was undoubtedly an instrumental and irreplaceable part of our team. Our academic advisor Kevin Chen helped us get through those last two weeks of school by some miracle. We could not have done it without his help and dedication to ensuring our academic success.
We need to thank UCLA Athletics for their support throughout our tournament run, as well as the Pac-12 and the NCAA. Thank you to our families, friends, and professors for their flexibility and support as we traveled all season. Thank you to our alumni who supported us throughout the season. Personally, I want to thank Rachel Grushkin and Liza David for their help with me in getting the opportunity to write this blog. I am so glad that we all have something to look back on that has documented some of the best times during our national championship season.
Finally, thank you to my teammates for giving me lifelong memories and a place in history with my best friends as the first women’s soccer team at UCLA to win a national championship. I love each and every one of my 32 teammates and would not change a thing about this year. I am so proud to have been a part of this and to have had the opportunity to play soccer with such incredible women. Congratulations to all of you, especially the five seniors. Let’s do it again next year!
Happy Holidays to everyone, and as always … Go Bruins!