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Oct. 13, 2008

Captains’ 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

October 13, 2008 – Dani Monteiro blogs after returning to the field for the first time since getting injured at Western Carolina on Sept. 21.

I want to start by saying thank you to the fans for coming out to support us in our games at home this weekend against Mississippi State and Ole Miss. We really appreciate all the support you fans give to us. Without your help, we would not have such a strong desire to play hard and win the games. So for you fans, thank you very much!

Let’s start talking about our week of practice where everyone was dedicated and happy knowing that our games this weekend would be at home where we are very strong and we will do everything that we can to not disappoint our fans, families and ourselves.

Now, let’s talk about our first game against Mississippi State, which was a battle on Friday night when both teams were fresh and ready to go and win another SEC game. We battled hard and the game was very intense and physical. We believed in ourselves, which gave us the momentum to knock Mississippi State out in the first half. The first goal was assisted by Sam (Diaz-Matosas) for a beautiful header by Kayla Grimsley. That goal gave us the relaxation and mentality to push us through for our second goal by Brooke (Jacobs). She had a great strike with the left foot to put the ball in the back post beating the keeper.

We came out for the second half motivated, however Mississippi State scored a goal, but this did not affect the way our team stayed together and battled until the end.

Our next opponent was Ole Miss, which we knew would be another challenge because they were much more physical and it was a Sunday game, where in the SEC anything could happen in the game. Before halftime the coaches put me in. I was very nervous but very excited in the same time. I would like to thank the fans, my boyfriend Paul, coaches and teammates for believing and supporting me all over my two weeks injury. I fought hard until the end, and that was a great feeling to be back on the field and help my teammates again. Thank you again!!!

In the second half we came out very strong and put away two goals in the opening minutes of the half. We were very composed and our goals came out in the right moment. First goal was assisted by Brittiny (Rhoades) off the corner where Blakely Mattern headed the ball passed the keeper and just enough over the line to beat the last defender. Second goal was by Shannon Bigbie, where Sam had a great pass and Kayla with all her ability left the ball at Shannon’s feet. With a great turn, Shannon had a good shot and put the ball in the back of the net, giving us a two-goal advantage against a good team. As the second half continued Ole Miss tied the game, but the most important thing was we knew that we could win, and we pushed hard enough until Sam scored the game-winning goal. That was an amazing feeling and seems like it took forever for her to shoot the ball. Thank God that she was calm and has the ability to put away chances like that.

The game ended with two huge victories at home this weekend. We deserved and we needed to prove to our opponents and ourselves that we are a young and very strong team in the SEC.

Thank you! Have a great week and we look forward to seeing all our fans against LSU on Thursday night on October 23 @ 7pm.

Dani 8