Aug. 22, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - This fall, OhioBobcats.com is taking you closer than ever to the Ohio Women's Soccer season. Throughout the 2012 campaign, senior Veronica Rock will be writing a blog about her experiences with the program, both on and off the field.
Rock (North Royalton, Ohio) is a versatile player for the Bobcats with three seasons of experience to her name. The senior was named an Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention during the 2011 season and scored the game-winning goal in Oct. 16's 2-0 win over Mid-American Conference rival Bowling Green. Rock is currently making the transition to center back for the Bobcats during the 2012 season and serves as one of the program's set-piece specialists.
It is now day twenty-three of preseason, and yes we keep track. But by now days one through five seem somewhat of a blur. When days consisted of a routine of breakfast, a fitness test, training, lunch, lifting, another training session, dinner, and a pool workout...the sore legs, sleepiness, and daily ice baths were enough to make those first few days a little fuzzy. Thankfully, by week two when the feeling comes back to your legs, and you have gotten used to your alarm going off at 7:15 a.m., it's time for LAKE HOPE!
For those who don't know, Lake Hope is easily the most anticipated event of the entire preseason. For some, the excitement comes from a chance to rest your legs. For others, it's the opportunity to go horseback riding or canoeing. But for teammates like Fiz (Liz Finley) who fear the creepy crawlers of nature, the multiple-day weekend getaway doesn't come without a couple cans of bug spray, plenty of shower gear and a phone charger. Regardless, Lake Hope is an opportunity for the team to get to know more about each other somewhere other than the field. Lake Hope is where you find out Maggie (Murnane) has the impressively accurate ability to bark like a dog, or that Gabby (Hausfeld) may or may not be the next American Idol with her cover of "Because you Loved Me" by Celine Dion. Between the Euchre games, cooking our own meals, the always humorous team pageant show, and the occasional trail run, the time away from the field at Lake Hope always brings us back to campus a closer, tighter-knit team than when we left. It also leaves us itching for a few days from Mosquito bites.
Once we were back from Lake Hope, though, it was down to business. This season the coaching staff has implemented a new style of play. This meant finding out which players were the best fit for which roles. In some cases this required a few players to play out of position, like me, three-year forward gone center back! In others cases, it was just a few tweaks here and there getting to know the strengths of our incoming freshmen, transfers and returners. Although it may have been a stressful time for our staff to try and figure out the best positions for players, it never seemed to rattle us. I have to hand it to us: each training session we went out and worked hard regardless of which new role we might have been playing that day. We are focused and determined and I attribute that entirely to our positive attitudes and our incredibly high work rate across the board.
This past weekend was our first opportunity to show off our hard work as we hit the road at Wright State and Indiana. Now if you saw the box scores, you know we came up short, falling 1-0 to Wright State and 4-2 to Indiana. But we learned a lot this past weekend. We learned hard-fought, well-played games don't always go in your favor. We also learned that we are not the team that we were last year. We have a new attitude, a new style of play and new additions to the team that make us entirely different from years past. We came away from the weekend acknowledging there are areas of our game to work on, but more so excited to build on the great things we saw from ourselves on film. We are all excited to get back to practice and to keep working hard. Go Green!
Veronica and her Bobcat teammates will next be in action on Friday, Aug. 24 at DePaul. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.