September 14, 2006
When you are still searching for the first win, you become a little more introspective: as a coach and as it relates to the team. While the beginning of the season has been hard, we knew it would be hard. We expected to be able to win more than we have, be we also knew that we would be learning "on the fly".
We are starting eight freshmen and sophomores, two juniors (one in a new position) and one senior. This fact is a cause for great hope for the future, and also helps explain the naiveté and lack of toughness that we have exhibited from time to time. This is a rite of passage for a team that has been and continues to be a great growing experience for both me and for the team.
The best part, and perhaps the hardest part, of college soccer is the extent to which you have to start over each season. I love the influx of new personalities and talent that each year brings. It also brings the challenge of establishing team values (the ones you actually play with) and team cohesiveness. Veteran teams bring these qualities. Younger teams, however talented, must acquire them - and it takes time.
We made a real breakthrough against Penn. It was the first game where we fought hard for the entire game and committed ourselves to being great on both sides of the ball. It was a bittersweet loss (OT loses always hurt more), but we, inside the team, really felt a collective pride in our EFFORT that heretofore had not been earned.
Will this team win a championship this year? Who knows? Can we make this into a great season? The players and coaches answer with a heartfelt: ABSOLUTELY.
You heard it here first. Thanks for staying with us. God gave us mountains so we'd learn how to climb.
We're learning, and we won't ever quit climbing.
We'll talk again soon, from the touchline,