Thursday, July 7, 2011
Time to get our Game Faces On!
We had our game faces on for the Mexico/New Zealand game, but despite a goal within ghe opening minutes of the game and cheering our lungs out, New Zealand managed to give Mexico a run for their money with a 2-2 tie. Veronica played with all the skill and energy one would expect for a World Cup match. We are still discussing, "Wouldn't that have been great if she connected on the diving header that missed her noggin by mere inches!" She worked her butt off to get open for her teammates, she defended as if she were solely reponsible for her team allowing a shot, and she helped her team possess the ball in the attacking half of the field as good as anyone out there. Yes Veronica! We were all so happy to have been present for her first World Cup!
Last night in Heidleberg and then off to Wolfsburg for the USA match. The drive ended up being a little over 6 hours thanks to summer construction detours and our GPS not being helpful with an alternate route. Thanks to our friends who were renting a house in Wolfsburg, they has secured us a camping spot, cooked us a fantastic dinner and chauffeured us to the game. We have known Lisa Fraser and Bruce Caris for many years and it was tons of fun to hook up with them, their friends and son Robbie for the match. Talk about hopitality! They dropped us off at our Kampplatz around midnight and their crew needed to be out the door and to the airport at 5:00 A.M. Last thing I heard before I fell asleep was Nicholas talking to Jack. "Dad? can I have some more covers?" "Yes." "I want to kill that bird." Our new camping spot had 1 insomniac bird that I pictured being a baby teradactyl based on the sound of it.
The U.S. game was exciting to watch if you were a Swedish fan. For the Americans it was frustrating to watch. So many attacking opportunities, but not enough of them found the frame of the goal. Off to a bit of a slow start, Hope had to come up a save that showed her patience, ability to react and how wonderful she is under pressure.
The first goal against the USA was a penalty kick, which Hope's outstretched fingers were a hair's breath away from getting a touch on. I always felt it was worse coming so close than missing the thing by a mile. You can tell by the silence of the stadium, that Hope's reputation is known by more than the U.S. fans. It was silent. Everyone, including me thought she just might pull it off. Drats!
I have really enjoyed watching Hope in action. During both the Columbia match and the Sweden match there is so much she does that is not on camera that helps her teammates. From staying as far back as she can to receive a ball to feet from a centerback that is being mauled by an ensuing forward, to being in perfect position EVERY time. 90 percent of the time, the shot does not come, but if it did, she would be ready. I have always taken pride on the small things and she does a gazillion things perfectly that go unnoticed to most. She is a true professional.
We are up today to hit the Science Center with the Fawcett family! Should be fun.
... and eventually off to Dresden! Brazil / USA !!!!