July 5, 2012
I am checking in for my first-ever Yellow Armband from sunny Southern California where I, like Clare (Stachel) and Haley (Kopmeyer), am residing for the summer. I am a bit farther North than those two, however, hanging out in the Santa Clarita Valley, where I grew up and am now fortunate to have a W-League team to play for right here at home. Thus, my summer has consisted of spending as much time as possible with my family and friends from home and being on the field with the Blue Heat.
Recently, I traveled with the Heat to Colorado and the Pacific Northwest to play a long stretch of five road games. It was a great experience culminating in an awesome game against the Seattle Sounders and their four USWNT stars (Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo) headed to the Olympics in a few weeks.
While the games were great, equally enjoyable was the abundance of quality free time spent with teammates while traveling between games. I found that even with an entirely different team, thousands of miles from Ann Arbor, I still experienced a little bit of Michigan.
At our first hotel in Colorado I saw another traveler in a Michigan hockey t-shirt. I mentioned this to a fellow college player who she said she had also seen some of her college's apparel being sported. This led to the keeping of a running tally for the rest of the trip and Michigan (obviously) won by a landslide as I saw at least one piece of Michigan apparel in every city we visited.
Many other entertaining moments came while on the road. Traveling with a summer team is a bit different than traveling with the Michigan squad. Instead of a team bus, we traveled in minivans driven by our coaches. Interestingly enough, getting out of a minivan after playing many games in a few days time is not as easy as one would think and we had some hilarious exits. Conversation topics and choice of music also brought some fun instances between the players and coaches. I can only imagine if Greg, Dean, Angie, and Nate were each in the driver's seat of a minivan on our road trips.
That said I cannot wait to return to Ann Arbor for preseason and for all the fun times with the team to come this year.
All the best for the rest of the summer and GO BLUE!