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It's key for us to play with underdog mentality

Despite being ranked No. 1, Ines Jaurena and her Florida State teammates know anything can happen on a given day, especially in the ACC. Larry Novey/Florida State Athletics

As I was seated in Spanish class Monday morning, I caught myself reflecting on the weekend we had in North Carolina. It also felt like a really early morning, probably because the past night was a late one.

It is great to be a Florida State athlete, but Tallahassee’s airport is tiny. You don’t get direct flights to many places, therefore, when coming back from trips, it is usual for us to get home after midnight on Sundays.

As I was thinking about our weekend, I felt a lot of satisfaction. This two-game trip to North Carolina is no easy task. A good reason for that is how tough North Carolina is and the success the Tar Heels have had winning 20 out of a possible 30 NCAA championships.

Their style of play is unique and relies on chasing, direct play and physical battle. The pressure they put on their opponents is like no other.

This game was a battle of styles. We tried to impose ours, which is a possession style. It is definitely not the easiest to attempt against the Tar Heels.

A good series of movements and passes allowed us to lead 1-0 in this high-tension game. The whole team worked together to the end to preserve the thin margin.

This game was also the opportunity to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and to remember Charlotte Moran, who was a victim of the disease and had devoted a big part of her life to women’s soccer.

We had two days of rest before playing NC State. We managed to beat them 2-0, thanks to Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s second goal of the weekend (she scored the only goal at Chapel Hill) and Tiffany McCarty’s early goal in the second half.

What makes us strong is, despite being ranked No. 1, we don’t really see ourselves as such. We have just enough confidence. We are aware we are a good team, but we also have an underdog spirit. We know we will have to fight in order to obtain a positive result. We are vulnerable, just as every other team is.

Although starting 4-0 in the ACC is a great feeling, we are far from finished. We could very well end up with a 4-6 record because, from top to bottom, this league does not have any weakness. We have to continue to be our best and work hard every time we hit the field.

What I was the most satisfied with this past week is the fact that we, as a team, got significantly better during those games against UNC and NC State. If we keep improving with each game, as we have been doing, we will be really hard to beat.

Until our next game, it’s back to class and time to focus on my studies and perfect my Spanish. We will be look to stay undefeated as we play Clemson at home Thursday night, sí se puede.