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 35 points on 12 goals and 11 assists in her career.
Taking off from LAX on Thursday proved to be a bit of a challenge when our flight got delayed for five hours due to weather issues in Northern California. As we all sat in the airport trying to get some homework done, a fallen soldier was being brought home from overseas outside. It was a heartbreaking image to see his family waiting and a group of soldiers carrying his casket off the plane, but one that we all watched anyway. We were all moved emotionally by the sight, and it certainly put our plane delay into perspective. I think we were able to realize just how lucky we are that we get to play soccer for UCLA, get an education, and live in a country full of men and women willing to fight for us. We headed into our games this weekend with this sobering thought in the back of our minds.
Friday morning we went for our usual pregame walk, but given our location, were able to sightsee a little bit along the way. We saw Temple Square and did some yoga in the grass.
Friday’s game got off to a tough start going down 1-0 to Utah. Taylor Smith got us back into it very quickly with a goal assisted by Sarah Killion, but we were unable to break the tie, and the game ended after a scoreless double overtime. We were disappointed with our performance as a team on Friday and were hopeful that we could perform better in Colorado.
On Saturday, we traveled to Colorado and had a fun practice at their home field. We got used to the elevation and got a few important things done on the field. The next day, we woke up and got down to business, defeating Colorado 1-0 on a goal from Kodi Lavrusky. As a team, we felt so much better about our performance on Sunday. While we only capitalized on one of our many opportunities to score, we really had to come together to pull out the win, and we succeeded.
At the airport, Madison Tye and I happened upon the "Life Is Good" store and fell in love with the same shirt ... so we both decided to buy it and wore it over the weekend at the same time. It says “Happy” with a little picture of a camper beneath it ... Happy Camper!
Now we are finally back at school after what seems like endless weeks of traveling. Thankfully, we have at least a few weeks where we won’t have to travel, and everyone is looking forward to this time at home to get organized with school and prepare for post season. Most of us have at least one midterm this week, so there has been some frantic studying going on.
A big shout-out to Courntey Proctor for winning MVP of the recovery practice on Monday. Among other contenders for the MVP were Chelsea Braun, Claire Winter, Alana Munger, and Cassie Sternbach. Courtney most likely won out due to the free kick that she buried to put her team in the lead. The depth of our team never fails to impress me, and the talent that we have truly runs all the way through each member.
As we prepare for Oregon and Oregon State this weekend, we are keeping in mind that the Pac-12 title is still up for grabs and that we need two wins if we want to claim it. But we are going to take it one day at a time, focusing first on the practices this week that have been productive. As long as we take what we have been working on and implement it into our game, we will be successful. It’s a great feeling knowing that it is up to us to determine our fate in the conference, but we still have a lot of work to do.
Make sure to catch our games on Friday and Sunday this weekend. Go Bruins!