Aug. 25, 2008
Every Monday during the 2008 women’s soccer season, one of the three team captains will visit GamecocksOnline.com 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.
August 25, 2008 – Kim Miller
To start off I would like to thank the athletic trainers, fans, coaches and team for all of the dedication and hard work that they put into this program. I am honored to be part of the Gamecock soccer program, and it is my pleasure to work with such a great group of people. Being a junior and one of the upper-classmen on the team, it is safe to say that the best years of your life fly by so fast. I can still remember when I first stepped on the field as a freshman for the first time and was in awe. This year I am very lucky to get the opportunity to be even more involved on the team. Being captain means a lot to me and I try to take the role seriously. It is a pleasure to work with co-captains senior Dani Monteiro and junior Blakely Mattern. We work very well together, balancing each other out. We each bring different attributes and have different personalities, which works well with helping and understanding the team. To them, Dani (Mexican) and Blakely, I want to thank you for being great people and I love you two!
Preseason finally winded down last week when there was six days until game day. The last week of preseason went smoothly; playing 11 vs. 11 games in the stadium is something that the team always looks forward to. It is a time for the coaches to figure out which players fit which roles. It gives the team a chance to work with different players and switch things up a little.
Thursday was the day that we have all been waiting for, the first day of school! Being a student-athlete can be difficult at times but is extremely rewarding. We are lucky enough to have a great academic environment that cares greatly for the athletes and wants them to be successful on the field and in the classroom. Personally, being a Physical Education major, I was definitely more excited for some classes rather than others. I love the classes that are hands on and where I get to learn about the different P.E essentials. Girls on the team get jealous that I have soccer class or badminton class when they are sitting through lectures, but I simply smile and say, “Hey, it’s part of my major”.
Thursdays practice could not come soon enough. After spending the day sitting in class, listening to your teacher ramble on and on, practice is the part of the day when we all come together and do something that we all love, and that is to play soccer. There are times when we are all focused and serious, but there are definitely moments when one of us has some kind of strange outburst and laughter is uncontrollable.
Friday was our first away trip and you could tell that everyone was excited. Our first game was in 24 hours against UNC Wilmington. Pulling away at 2 pm in our coach bus was when the trip began. We have a USC Women’s Soccer tradition that happens on the bus during the first away trip of every season. Roya (freshman goalie) was chosen to go first and boy did she set high standards. The rest of the freshman did a great job and it was absolutely hilarious! It is a great bonding experience for our team.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Blakely Mattern’s aunt who invited the whole team over for a dinner at her gorgeous house. There were salads, pastas and deserts, some delicious brownies!!! The food was incredible and our team would like to go back there before every game, if that was possible.
Saturday was GAMEDAYYYY!!! We arrived at the field at 1pm to get both mentally and physically prepared. It was a hot and sunny day for the game and both teams were excited. The game went well, it was a hard fought battle between both teams. The players both defensive and offensive worked hard getting their job done. It was Mollie Patton’s first game and came up with some great saves! She kept our team alive and knowing she was behind us was a great feeling to have, especially for me playing in the midfield. This was a great start for our team; we can only improve now and move forward, and get better for the games to come. We have things we need to work on, and the coaches will do a great job in making sure we are ready our next game.
Thursday night at 5pm is our home opener for the 2008 season against Eastern Carolina. I am very confident in our team and staff that we will get a win on Thursday. We will need to put in a lot of hard work and preparation in order to be successful, but in the end it is all worth it!
Thank you again; to everyone – and to the fans, we love you!!!