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Aug. 18, 2008

Captain’s Blog

Every Monday during the 2008 women’s soccer season, one of the three team captains will visit to give an inside look into what it is like to be a South Carolina women’s soccer student-athlete. Bookmark the Captains’ Blog and check back frequently for the stories told by senior Danila Monteiro and juniors Blakely Mattern and Kim Miller.

2178897.jpegDanila Monteiro 2155939.jpegBlakely Mattern 2155944.jpegKim Miller

August 18, 2008 – Danila Monteiro

First of all, I am so happy to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks. It has been my pleasure to be a part of this family with such a good group of coaches and teammates. Of my 15 years of playing soccer, this preseason has been the very best. I am sad that I am a senior because these days of my life are so great being with my team and playing soccer. I really do not want this to end. It is an honor to be co-captains with Blakely Mattern and Kim Miller. They have great personalities and very strong soccer minds, which is the key to leading the team. We have trust in each other’s decisions and opinions. Our knowledge of the game makes our leadership of the team easier and more present. “Blakely (Roomie) and Miller (Mexican), I love you girls!”

Summer II workouts started with 14 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and myself as a senior training everyday at 6:30AM on the field, pool, sand and weight room. At night we had pickups to have touches on the ball. The freshmen from the very beginning looked very strong and very ready to adapt to the team. The upperclassmen, with our relationships from the previous seasons, helped the freshmen out to get a feel of how everything works on the team, how we play together, and how we adjust to one another’s ability. Yes, Summer II takes a long time and was rough, but it passed fast and we grew as a team and strengthened our weaknesses.

Preseason began August 6th with a healthy and strong group of players. Thanks to our work in Summer II, everyone was in great shape, was familiar with each other, and came in with eagerness to put the work in so we can have a great season. Preseason is so far so good. We train twice a day; depending on the day we do different workouts and different training sessions. The worst part of preseason to me is the ice tub after training. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is very good for the muscles, but hey, I am from Brazil, and I do not like to be cold. The best part of preseason is the food after training! This is where we can relax and talk between the team, eat, and replenish ourselves.

Last week was so much fun because we trained in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to Frankie’s Fun Park. The best part was seeing our team having so much fun, including myself, and watching our team form a great relationship. I played laser tag where I got second every time, only to lose to a freshman, but that was a blast. Next, we raced go-karts where I got first! That was my favorite part of the fun park!

Our team is very grateful of the community and our fans. Everywhere we go there are people who enjoy watching us, from little children to adults. It is a great feeling to know that our team can represent ourselves to the community and they see us as wonderful people. We try our very best to give back to the community because without their support we wouldn’t have the desire to win like we do.

After Frankie’s we had a team dinner and it was good to see the team mingling and entertaining each other. We had a great time with each other and made the experience one that will never be forgotten.

We are going through the last week of preseason, and my heart is beating so fast because I realize that we have our first game soon. I know our team is strong and capable to train hard this week and start our journey to a winning season. I really believe that this group of players is the most talented and strong, mentally and physically, to win every game of the season. Even if we lose, I know the next day we will have our heads up looking forward to our next opponents.

Yesterday, Sunday, August 17th, we planned to have a full field scrimmage, but it started raining. Even though we didn’t play soccer like we wanted to, we stayed together and played games, talked, laughed and had a great time with each other. That was so much fun to spend time with my teammates.

Saturday, our challenges start. We are traveling to UNC Wilmington to play against their squad. We are putting everything we can into this game, as we are prepared to show that even though this is a young team, we can work together to achieve the results we are looking for.

Thank you again coaches, athletic trainers, co-captains, and teammates for giving me the best moments of my life.