Off the Field with Brooks and McKinsey

Sept. 27, 2005

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This past week was a big one in Miami women’s soccer, not only was it our conference opener but we faced NC State on Thursday and No. 1 ranked UNC on Sunday. It was also our first week home in three weeks because the previous two we traveled to <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Indiana and then to Alabama and South Carolina. Adding to all this excitement and chaos, we had six recruits to entertain.


Thursday evening when we faced NC State about ten minutes into the second half it began to down pour like I’ve never seen. I swear a mini hurricane-monsoon combo hit Cobb Stadium. I usually enjoy playing in the rain because it adds some excitement, but we had a pretty large crowd that game and rain scares them away. During the rain shower I glanced into the stands to see two die hard fans sitting in the bleachers cheering us on. The rain exceeded its usual twenty minute spat, but when it did stop I was pleased to see some fans return to the stadium. Once again we went into double overtime and unfortunately NC State scored on a corner kick with only five minutes left in the period.


After practice on Friday I went with our head coach, Tricia, to pick up the recruit that I would be hosting. On the way back from the airport to dinner we got in a small fender-bender because another car pulled out to get around a bus and hit us. Fortunately for Tricia’s car there wasn’t much damage but the other car lost its front bumper. A bus then ran over it and drove off with it. After we got that sorted out we met the rest of the recruits, freshmen hosts, and coaches at the Cheesecake Factory. We practiced at 9 the next morning and went directly to the Orange Bowl to watch our football team beat the Colorado Buffs. It was a fun experience because not only was it our first home game but we all got to go on the field for the warm-up. It’s exhilarating to be at the center of at least 50,000 screaming fans. After the football game we took it easy for the rest of the day because we knew we had a tough game the next day.


I woke up Sunday morning a little nervous for the first time ever related to soccer. Although I was little nervous, I was excited more than anything because I had an opportunity to play against one of the best ranked team in the nation and we were expecting the largest crowd yet. It was a rush to look up and see a stadium packed with fans. To add to this, after announcing the starting line up and singing the National Anthem we got to throw t-shirts into the crowd. This was especially fun and nostalgic for me because when I was little and watched the Stanford soccer games I always remembered jumping around trying to catch the shirts or mini-balls. At the end of the first half the score was still tied at 0-0 and I definitely thought we were going to tie the game. Unfortunately, we ended up losing 4-0 but I don’t think the score reflected how well we played. After the game we said bye to the recruits and they were rushed off to the airport to make their flights home.


All-in-all, it was a weekend packed with excitement from the football game to the recruits to the soccer aspect. It was definitely nice to be home for a weekend but next week we’re on the road again. We actually leave for Virginia on Wednesday morning, play V-Tech on Thursday, UVA on Sunday, and return to Miami around midnight once again. Traveling is definitely fun but it gets extremely tiresome after being gone three weeks out of four. I do look forward to this trip because my parents are going to fly out from California and meet us in Virginia. I’m super excited to see them because I miss them greatly and I haven’t seen them since we played Princeton which was in early September. Anyway I’ll let you know how everything goes next week!


Meghan McKinsey


Tuesday, September 27, 2005


This weekend, my mom came down to visit and to watch our two games this weekend against NC State on Thursday and UNC on Sunday. It was a good opportunity to spend some time with her and for her to see how busy our days really are with classes, practices, study sessions, meetings, rehab and tests.


Thursday, she had to get a taxi from the airport because I had class when she arrived. I had class from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. At 3:30, we had our pre-game meal at Beverly Hills Café and then I went to the hotel to greet my mom. We went back to Hecht (The athletic department where all of our coaches, academic advisors, and administrators offices are, and where the training room, our locker room and our field are located), to get ready for the game. My mom bunkered down during the torrential down pour, when most other fans were running for shelter. We ended up losing the game in over time 1-0 on a goal scored off of a corner kick. It was very disappointing because NC State is a team that we are capable of beating. After the game, I headed home to study the night away for my Chemistry test on Friday. It is hard to find motivation to study after such a tough loss.


Friday, I had class all morning, practice and then a Chemistry test at 5:00 p.m. Needless to say, I didn’t get to see my mom at all during the day. She had fun looking at shops and boutiques in the Village of Merrick Place, a mall near my apartment. I was able to meet up with her for dinner and then went home to bed because I was so tired!  It is fun to have your parents come to town to visit because they get to see what your daily schedule is like. Sometimes I don’t think they realize until they are here, how busy we actually are trying to get everything done.


Saturday, we had practice at 9 a.m. and were greeted with five recruits for the weekend. The freshmen hosted the recruits and took them to the football game at the Orange Bowl. This was the first home football game for our team so many of my teammates went to cheer on the guys. I decided that I didn’t want to sit out in the sun, so my Mom and I watched the game from the comforts of our couch in my apartment!  Saturday evening we had pre-game meal at the famous Big Cheese Restaurant. After dinner, I came home to study as I had to prepare for my quiz and two tests on Monday.


Sunday, I went to church with my mom and then headed to Hecht to get ready for our game against UNC. It was neat to have such a big crowd and to see so many young kids at the game. After the game, we had an autograph session, where we signed autographs forthe kids for almost an hour after the game. It’s hard to believe that the kids actually want my autograph, but the smile on their faces after you sign their shirt or poster is priceless. My mom left Sunday evening after the game to fly home to Atlanta. After I dropped her at the airport, it was study, study, study time.


Monday morning at 8 a.m. I had my first exam in my Bioenergetics and Skeletal Muscle Physiology class. Right after that test, I went to lift weights, run and then straight to my chemistry class. Following chemistry, we had practice, agility with our strength coach and then I had a meeting for the Student Athlete Advisor Committee, which I’m one of the soccer representatives for, and then I went to my 2 ½ hours Business Law class for a quiz and lecture. After class, it was back to the apartment to study for my biology test for Tuesday. Luckily, we don’t have practice on Tuesdays, so I had a little bit of time during the day after my classes to get some last minute studying done before my test at 5pm. Thankfully, Tuesday is over and now I’m packing for our five-day road trip to VTech and UVA.


Hopefully we will get to catch up on some much needed rest and studying over the long weekend! 


# 3 Julie Brooks