Women’s Soccer Player Blog by Evan Feldman
Big weekend at home for three of the four sports currently in season. This afternoon at 4 p.m, the women’s soccer team will play VCU in a match that was postponed from yesterday (more on that in a minute). Tomorrow, the cross country teams will host their lone meet of the season as they compete at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg at 10 a.m. Later in the day, the men’s soccer team will host VCU at 5 p.m. The weekend is capped on Saturday night when the Patriot Club hosts its annual Champions Dinner. That will take place at Mason Inn with a 7 p.m. Reception and an 8 p.m. Dinner and Awards Program. Lindsay Czarniak of NBC Sports will be the Keynote Speaker as the 1985 National Champion Women’s Soccer Team is honored on the 25th anniversary of their bringing home the first-ever team national title to Fairfax.
Back to women’s soccer. The Patriots are 2-0 in the CAA for the first time since 2000 and they will look to go to 3-0 for the first time since 1997. That year, incidentally, they began the year 6-0 in CAA play. Mason will be hosting VCU, a team that beat the Patriots 2-1 last year in overtime. Both VCU goals came on penalty kicks. A tie in that match and Mason makes the CAA Tournament last year rather than tying for fourth and missing out on a tiebreaker.
Evan Feldman, who scored her first career goal on Sunday against William & Mary wrote this week’s women’s soccer player blog.
“As we enter the second weekend of conference play, it is such a great feeling to have two wins under our belts! This past weekend was so exciting for the team giving us the momentum and drive we need to enter our games against VCU and JMU. What better way to start the third phase of our season than on our beautiful stadium field and coming out 2-0 to open up the conference season.
“Each game we play, we grow more and more to find our rhythm and style. Throughout our non-conference season, we worked together to sort out our kinks to find what system fit our personnel. That’s what non-conference play is for. It was a true test of our character and team morale. We even experienced some of that feeling when we stepped out on the field last Friday against ODU. We found ourselves fighting to try to gain momentum to come back from a flat first half. We knew at half-time that our performance was not an indication of how much we’ve grown since August, especially after competing against Maryland. By the second half and into overtime we started to find the tempo we were looking for. As a unit we defended together and created countless opportunities. Finally after persistent effort we were able to get the ball in the back of the net. After the game we accepted that the first half was a learning experience and that we needed to compete together for 90 minutes from kickoff. Immediately after the game our heads were only in one place – Sunday’s game against William and Mary.
“There was such a bright atmosphere Sunday afternoon. The team was glowing with energy and optimism. It was so obvious. Entering the game against William and Mary, we finally came out at the first whistle with full force. It was great to see the team possess and create chances from the start – the way Mason soccer does it! We set the tone for the game and dictated how William and Mary responded to us. With intense momentum and pure possession we were able to score early. But as it happens in soccer, there were minutes of break down where William and Mary took advantage to tie the game soon after our lead. There will always be ups and downs in the game. How we handle it as a team is what determines our fate. And with that, through will and determination, we were able to gain our lead in the last ten minutes of the first half. From there, it was evident that we had the will and confidence we needed to solidify the win by putting away two more goals in the second half. A perfect end to a great opening weekend.
“We now know after competing against teams like Maryland and having such a successful weekend, that we are a force in the CAA. We will take this weekend one game at a time with VCU Friday and JMU Sunday, respecting both teams but knowing that we are a top contender. All we have to do is come together as a unit and battle for 90 minutes. When we work together we find success. Both games are very personal to us, but the game is simple. We play free and for each other and let the past be ammunition to our success. That’s why we love the game.”