When I see those two words, it is usually accompanied by an inspiring story or tale. In this case, it is used to describe a team after a weekend of games. Not only that, it is the best way to describe the focus of this week’s practice.
We were faced with our first loss of the season at the UNC Nike Classic on Sunday in Chapel Hill, N.C. While we had high expectations, unfortunately we fell to the University of Florida 3-2 after coming off a 5-1 win on Friday against Montreal.
Our initial response was disappointment. At the same time, I felt a consensus from the team that we were going to be able to look deep within ourselves to re-evaluate not only the tactical side of the game but also our mentality. This is something we take a lot of time to discuss and work on.
Our practice on Tuesday truly put us to the test. As we came out of a video session in which we analyzed the Florida game, I saw not the look of disappointment or anger in each player’s eyes, I saw a group of student-athletes who were hungry and ready to perform.
Every player wanted to redeem herself. This was displayed through the play that day at practice. From tackles to runs, everything was done with precision. In return, every player got better that day -- better and ready to travel to Los Angeles for the USC Futbol Classic.
We all have goals, but on our team, there are lists of goals that are clearly outlined displaying the methodology that is going to help us reach our ultimate goal. That goal is a national championship. We are aware it is a long way away and it takes a lot of work to get there, but it can be done.
As we all made our way to the locker room, there was still a common aura of excitement and readiness to return to the pitch. I came across a quote that I think in very few words best describes our team:
"Together we stand, together we fall, together we are winners and winners take all."
So, as we enjoy the California sun, there are two things that we will remember -- we will remain both humble and hungry.