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Monday, September 3, 2012

To Tokyo



Ben and Nick. You are always on my mind 

A few things that were at the forefront of my mind that I chose not to post PRE-Korea DPR match.

  • 13 players on their roster were on the Olympic Team
  • 8 of them were starters
  • 4 years ago US U17 Team lost to KoreaDPR in the last few minutes of the championship game. 
  • I hate putting my underwear in with the team laundry because then I have to get it... at the same time as the players. 
Our team behind the gigantic stadium reminded me of how daunting our task would be
A few other things that were weighing into the back of my mind were the days leading up to our match.  It was no coincidence that our dining hall that seated all 4 teams had one vacant quadrant; marked by the N.Korean flag.  We knew they were either on there way, or had just left by the trail of security guards and police.  Unlike any other hotel, our hotel in Saitama was surrounded with guards.  The floor their team stayed on had all televisions and computers removed.  Our coordinator, Matt Barton, filled me in on the stat of 400 extra security guards at our game. 

None of these thoughts left my brain.  While on the inside, I was anticipating a war at 7:30 PM, on the outside I was attempting my cool, calm collective nature by marveling at the spaghetti patties we were served pre-game.  Just a quick dunk in hot water and they are ready to be scarfed.

The game was as tough as I thought it would be.  The Koreans had a portion of the stadium chanting and beating their noise makers in unison. They did not stop.  In rhythm with their fans, their team kept marching down the field.  The pace and accuracy of long balls and receptions on a dime reminded me, "I am at a frickin' World Cup!"  

Mandy Laddish and Chi Obogagu
 Against another opponent, it would have been deadly, but against the USA defense the constant attack became manageable.  So proud of our team to not only thwart off basically their Olympic Team, but to pull off a victory in overtime.  
Worthy of a Dawg pile, (Yes a "dawg"pile as the Huskies are still on a victorious 5-0 roll) I couldn't  help but look up at the big screen when the winning goal was scored.   What I saw I will remember.  Not a head held in hands, not a stomp of a foot.  Just a bench of sad young women.  They all slowly blinked in unison and did not move until the cacophony of the match completely ended and they were escorted of the field. Once again, I am reminded by the place I get to return to, and am thankful.

I have been on the losing side of an important match many times, but it never had the feel or the look that this loss had to our opponent. 

So today... we take on Nigeria.  And once again, my thoughts will stay with me as I hop on the bus.  My thoughts about the game, that is.   As always, Nicholas and Benjamin... Am thinking of you on an hourly basis!  Miss and Love you!  Time to get on the bus to see Nigeria via Tokyo.  Life is good. 


5 comments:

  1. Only a few typos but more importantly just read to boys as we snuggle together and set our alarm to wake up in 3 hours for the big match!!! They live the blog but not as much as they live you!!!!

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  2. Ha! Takes a typo to know a typo. :)

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  3. Love this post! Can't imagine how much Nick and Ben miss you, but the U20 team is incredibly lucky to have you. Congrats on beating Nigeria and moving onto the WC final. I'll be cheering you and the team on from Iceland.

    Miss you,
    Kate

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