Fall break is my favorite time of year

During fall break, Micaela Capelle and her Portland teammates make an annual trek to a pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin. Courtesy Micaela Capelle

The soccer program at the University of Portland is incredible, the campus is beautiful and the food really isn't too bad. But one of the best parts about going to this Oregon college is fall break.

It's a time of rejuvenation and relaxation because we have no school for a full week in the middle of the semester. Most students go home, leaving the campus almost completely empty. This one week of the year is easily my favorite. Not only do we rule the campus (because we're the only ones on it), but we also partake in almost every fall activity there is.

One of my favorite activities is the annual team pumpkin patch visit/pumpkin-carving day. Every year we gather the team together and carpool down to the Sauvie Island pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin. We search for hours until each of us finds exactly what we're looking for.

Last year goalkeeper Erin Dees ventured the farthest, and after we lost sight of her in the field, she reappeared with her perfect pumpkin.

This year we have even bigger and better plans. Instead of our typical trek to Sauvie Island patch, we plan to take the team to Roloff Farms, where the TV show "Little People, Big World" was filmed.

Our plans also include the "Haunted Corn Maze" at Sauvie Island, and the idea of converting one of our team houses into a haunted house has been discussed.

Halloween/fall break is a huge deal for our team, and with what we have planned, I'm sure this fall break will be just as good as the rest.

This week before fall break is extremely important for our team because we start conference play Thursday when we head to Spokane, Wash., to play Gonzaga. We then head back to Portland to host BYU in our first home conference match.

We are viewing this conference season as a new beginning, to refocus on our goals and improve our winning record.

Our team will need to bring the energy and fight required to win our first few conference games. With our freshmen improving every time they step on the field and our upperclassmen growing stronger every day, I have faith our team will rise to the occasion. We are ready for the challenge.

Last, but definitely not least, earlier this week, senior Kendall Johnson's family was kind enough to invite our whole team over for a family dinner. Not only did we get to see Jakers, Kendall's dog and one true love, but we also ate a delicious meal and got to spend some quality time with our teammates.

I remember sitting there laughing at the table and feeling very lucky to be surrounded by not only amazing athletes, but truly unbelievable people.

I can't wait to update you all on our fall break activities next week and -- hopefully -- our first two conference wins.