Celebrating an SEC road win
Time to make sure all the blood, tears, sweat and teeth (literally) shed in preseason were for a purpose -- that purpose being the SEC women’s soccer season.
The anticipation of conference play had kept many of us up at night for the past two months. As our head coach Jon Lipsitz said, “The SEC is a whole other animal,’’ and we were ready tackle it without hesitation.
Opening with Auburn last Friday was a great start. Not only were they a very talented team, but one that we carry history with. Two years ago on their home field they held no mercy, embarrassing us 4-1. We came out flat and they punished us for it.
It’s safe to say we had some redemption to gain this year on their field. Not only did we have that as motivation, but we were also given a stat prior to this game that really set a fire beneath our team. The UK women’s soccer team had not won a conference opener on the road since 2004!
It’s time -- time to show that we are a completely different team from previous years. We are one that plays with intensity from the first minute to the 90th minute. One that starts the season out right, whether it be on the road or at home. We were determined to set new standards for this program starting with this game and leave a legacy.
As the whistle blew and the first tackle was made, you knew immediately the SEC had begun. Bigger, faster, stronger were all qualities Auburn possessed. The game went back and forth with possession and chances. To say the least, this game was a grind from beginning to end. It might not have been our most technical game because Auburn did a great job of shutting down our possession, however, what great teams do is find a way. That’s exactly what we did, and we left the match with a 1-0 win, eliminating the stat of “2004.”
The celebrations and laughter came to a screeching halt once we entered the coldest ice baths of our entire lives immediately following the game. Not a single person could speak while their teeth chattered for the next six minutes. They must have been loading those things with ice the whole game for them to be that cold! Oh, the things we do for recovery.
The bus ride back was all fun and games with the win under our belt and finally getting over the hump of “2004.” We stopped for our traditional winning treat of choice that consisted of either coffee or ice cream. It was relaxing fun and exactly what we needed.
With that being said, we know we can’t let ourselves get too complacent with a win. So as soon as we pulled into that parking lot back at our stadium, we were all business again. The game against Auburn was over and now our sights were set to this weekend with Arkansas and Georgia.
It’s our time! We are ready to prove it.