Our fans are the best in the country

Micaela Capelle got goose bumps watching the fans raise a Tifo last Friday against Notre Dame. Portland Athletics

Our team is very talented, and I don't just mean on the field, either. Recently we challenged ourselves to learn how to do the perfect handstand.

It all started this summer during the Olympics. Watching the Fabulous Five take on Russia and China and eventually win the gold got us all wanting to try our own gymnastics.

Team captain Kendall Johnson started the trend, practicing almost everywhere she went. Whether it was in our house living room, in the front yard, or random places around campus, she continued practicing. Eventually the rest of the team was inspired to try, too, and now we have started a phenomenon.

Hands down, though, our other team captain, Taylor Brooke, is the best handstander. Originally, I was embarrassed by my terrible handstanding abilities, but after practicing every night, I'm already improving. Potentially in the future, you could see handstands become a pretty awesome goal celebration on Merlo Field, so keep an eye out!

Speaking of goal scoring, I have been dying to talk about last weekend's Notre Dame game. The whole campus was buzzing the week leading up to the game. My teammates and I received numerous random "Good lucks" from our fellow peers, only getting them and us more pumped for Friday night.

While warming up we noticed a large purple cloud of smoke coming toward us from the Villa Maria dormitory. Of course, it was only the best fans in the country, getting ready to come out and cheer us on. They arrived in a puff of smoke (literally).

It was also military appreciation night, giving the national anthem a whole different and special meaning. Along with honoring our military forces, we had a huge surprise Tifo made by our fans. It was honestly one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. I got goose bumps watching them lift the Tifo up into the air. I couldn't stop smiling, knowing that we truly do have the best fans in the country.

Although we couldn't get the win on this particular night, we managed to tie Notre Dame in 110 minutes of soccer. Beating one previous national champion in our season opener (North Carolina) and tying another one (Notre Dame) has given us hope for the rest of the 2012 season.

This weekend we will head to California to play yet another previous national champion, USC. Without our fans there with us, it will be a much different atmosphere, I'm sure. But I know our team, and we will bring our own energy for this game.

I'd like to give a shout-out to all our amazing fans for making Portland the best place in the country to play soccer.