Let's start out with some basic math -
this St. Olaf fight song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e2ZbRsSWh8
+ a Carleton version of the lyrics
(which we'll kindly omit here out of respect for our friends across the river)
+ singing and running from building to building
+ crazy outfits:
+ lots of Team Love:
+ a first half goal by Rachel Foran and another with 4 minutes left in the game by Niki Tomita:
= a very very good weekend for Carleton Women's Soccer.
We went into Saturday's game tied for 4th place in the conference with St. Olaf, with the top 4 teams advancing to the MIAC playoff tournament. It was the last league game, so both teams knew they had to win in order to keep their season alive (in the wise words of Professor Trelawney's prophecy, "neither can live while the other survives"). By some fantastic mixture of skill and luck, we managed to pull out a 2-1 win over the Oles. I am absolutely convinced this had something to do with our team's pre-Olaf game tradition of running around from campus spot to campus spot (including, but not limited to, the Libe, the President's office, and football practice at West Field) in crazy outfits and belting out Carleton's version of the St. Olaf fight song (tune and lyrics above).
With a win against St. Olaf, we advanced as the #4 seed to play Concordia College, the #1 seed in the MIAC semifinals. As of Monday, the Cobbers were undefeated this year and ranked #7 nationally. But, well, that was Monday. Before we played them on Tuesday.
Okay. So. There is NOTHING in Fargo, ND (I guess we were technically in Moorhead, MN, but potato, potahto). I'm sorry if there are any diehard Fargo fans out there, and to be fair it might have had something to do with the fact that it was 33° and raining while we were there, but I never imagined I would miss Northfield so terribly as I did Monday night when we spent the night up there.
But ultimately, our trek to the barren tundra was worth it. We entered halftime tied 0-0, but we had clearly dominated the first half. I think Concordia realized this too, because their fans replaced their "Go Cobbers!" encouragement with yells of "Kill them!" I don't know if this is what did the trick or not, but Concordia scored off a corner kick early in the second half. We continued to battle hard, and had several excellent scoring opportunities before Niki Tomita redirected a pass into the back of the net with just over two minutes left in regulation time. Needless to say, this produced some very distraught Cobbers and Cobber coaches. Bummer. Two ten-minute overtime periods proved fruitless for both teams, so the game was forced into penalty kicks.
Good thing our goalie is superhuman and can not only read the minds of the shooters and know where the ball is going to go, but get her body from the center of the net to one upper 90 corners in time to block a shot which could easily be traveling 50+ mph (for you scientifically-minded people out there: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2003-02-18-ten-hardest-penalty-kick_x.htm). Who knows how she did it, but Kate Trenerry stopped three of their shots and we scored three out of four of ours, making it unnecessary for us to even take the last kick. So long, Cobbers!
So, this Saturday night, just a few hours after men's team hosts Macalester at Bell Field in their MIAC final game, we go up to St. Paul to play Mac in our finals. For both men and women, a win on Saturday means a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
"Is it sort of hard to come back to Earth after all this?" my boss asked me when I walked into the Web Design office this morning. Yes. Yes it is. But at the same time, it's not just us players who feel the excitement. It seems like this week's successes of both soccer teams and of the cross country squad (women came in 1st in the MIAC and men came in 6th) has revitalized a lot of the campus and lifted us out of the 8th week slump a bit. It's so nice to walk through the halls of the LDC on the way to German class and overhear some students talking with a professor about how they are planning their weekend around making it to the men's final on Saturday or to come back to my dorm after practice and hear some of the girls on my floor trying to figure out a way to get up to St. Paul for our game.
I'm sure other things happened this week besides soccer. I bet I took a test or two, I think I turned 19, maybe Halloween happened, there might have been a couple concerts at the Cave, but really - soccer's pretty much all that's been in my head recently!