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.
Last week I talked about how fast time was passing this season; this past weekend, the team really made the most of our opportunities and came out successful. We played one of the best teams in the country, Stanford, on Thursday night and were able to win, 2-1 in double overtime. The entire game was hard-fought and, as always, Stanford presented a huge challenge with their talent and will to win. Jenna Richmond scored in the beginning of the second half to put us up 1-0, but Stanford came back with less than two minutes to play and tied it up. Entering overtime, we were all exhausted and upset that we had given up a goal. It was the motivation coming from each other that pushed us on and helped us make it 15 more minutes. Lauren Kaskie came on the field in the second overtime and buried a beautiful shot with her left foot that won us the game.
It was such an important moment for this team that I think we will look back on it as the turning point of our season. Abby Dahlkemper also deserves some recognition for saving the ball off of our goal line in the first overtime. Our determination and hard work really paid off in this game, and the kind of spirited victory that we experienced was exactly what the team needed.
We recovered on Friday with a pool workout and then set off for San Francisco. Most of us had never been to the city before, but all of us loved it! We stopped at the Google headquarters and were given a tour before walking down to Pier 39 for the afternoon. My older cousin lives in the city, so I was able to meet up with him and spend some time visiting him and his girlfriend. I haven’t spent much time with him in a few years due to the distance, but it was so cool to get to see his office and apartment and get a feel for the way he lives up there. I think that when soccer is able to bring you together with people, it really demonstrates the worldliness of the sport and how it can be so impactful off the field as well.
A few family members staying in the city joined us for dinner at Pier 39, and then we headed back to our hotel to start preparing for our next game. On Saturday we went out to practice and had a focused, detailed session. We grabbed lunch in Berkeley on our way back, and most of us tried to get some homework done before dinner. Keeping up with school on the road is certainly a challenge, but we are all doing our best to stay disciplined! In one of my classes right now, I’m (attempting) to learn about the history of the English language. It might be the hardest class I’ve ever taken at UCLA, and I spend 90% of lecture trying to understand what the professor is talking about.
On Sunday we took on Cal in the morning and, with a goal from Sarah Killion, were able to win, 1-0. It was another solid team effort, due to tired legs from our streak of challenging games. Beating Cal was an important step in our journey forward, and they were a very talented team who proved difficult to beat. After the game, we headed back to LA exhausted but pleased with the results from the weekend.
We got back at it this week to prepare for ASU on Friday night at home. After such a huge weekend, I know that we are up for another game that promises to be a battle. I can’t wait to see what this team can continue to do week after week - NCAA Tournament is just around the corner!
Make sure to come by Drake stadium Friday night at 7pm! I’ll see you next week!