Nov. 4, 2011
WASHINGTON - Senior Kelly D'Ambrisi (Trumbull, Conn./Lauralton Hall Academy) has been a vital cog for the Georgetown women's soccer team since her arrival on campus. The midfielder was named First Team All-BIG EAST on Thursday night for the second-straight year. Throughout the year, D'Ambrisi has been contributing her thoughts for a blog on soccerbanter.org, which can also be seen on the Georgetown Athletics website. www.guhoyas.com. Here is her latest post:
We had from Friday (Senior Day vs. Villanova) to the following Sunday to prepare for our Big East quarterfinal game against Syracuse. We have played Syracuse once earlier this season on their field and beat them 3-1. It was a rainy night on a sloppy field but we dominated. Camille Trujillo had a fantastic game and scored two sweet goals, which always helps. Dave (Nolan) says that it's always hard to beat a team twice in the same season. Since you won, you don't need to change anything and you can essentially have the same game plan. The losing team knows us now, knows our strengths and weaknesses and they know what didn't work for them last time they faced us. Now they can reconsider their approach to the game to try to give us as many problems as possible. We practiced on the turf almost every day this week because of the monsoon like weather. I like the rain when it's warm but it's gotten colder this week and it's just miserable outside. We're having flashbacks of Minnesota last year in the single digit weather. Naomi Meiburger (Nay) distributed some sweet hats for the cold weather... that none of us will ever wear because we look like fools. We have finally broken out our stadium jackets and we love them; every year somebody tries to steal theirs but obviously nothing gets by Nay. Our practices on the turf are usually sharp because we are pretty technically sound, and the flat surface allows us to knock the ball around very quickly. We focused on playing in tight spaces; one and two touch combination play. Syracuse defends very high and flat, so we tried to replicate their style and play a very high offside's line. We're really counting on Camille to have a field day running by their defenders, if we are able to push the ball through to her early. We had a solid week of practice; we want this game so bad! I have never made it to the Final Four of the Big East, and at the beginning of the season it was one of my team goals. Winning the Big East, in my opinion, would be just as extraordinary if not more special than last year's NCAA run to the Elite Eight. My parents, of course, arrived on Saturday afternoon to take me to a nice Italian dinner to carbo load for the big game. They drove down in the blizzard that hit the East Coast on Saturday. Nothing can stop my mom from being down here for one of my soccer games... she would have hitchhiked if necessary. I was so pumped up for the game, we knew exactly what to expect from Syracuse, and we knew exactly what we had to do to beat them. It would be a physical game because they are a very aggressive team that plays on emotion, but we could not be bullied on our own field. I think Syracuse has had more yellow cards this season than we've had in three years. We came out fast and scored 2 goals in the first half. We got one in the second half off a penalty kick for a hand ball in the box. Syracuse scored one late in the second half off a corner, which I'm sure we will look at over and over again in film (hope it wasn't my fault). The game started to get ugly toward the end of the match; a lot of late tackles, going for ankles. Syracuse had already been dealt two yellow cards before receiving a red one late in the game. We had an impromptu tailgate to celebrate our win with my favorite dish, my dad's White Chicken Chili. Now, we have a week to prepare for our second meeting with West Virginia this season.
After the Syracuse game, I caught the live feed of the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights' last game of their regular season, which they won to conclude their undefeated season. Congrats, who knew the Trailblazers would amount to anything? I'm framing a University of Bridgeport purple jersey signed by the studs of the team, the Trumbull United Lazers. Here's a shout out and best of luck to my U9 buddies and fellow seniors; Andrea Young at Richmond heading into the A-10 semifinals, and Kaitlyn Mawicke playing in the NEWMAC semifinals for Wheaton... making the fat swede proud.
The semifinals of Big East are at West Virginia, the biggest field in the conference. We were so well prepared for the Syracuse game; I know if we can do the same for the West Virginia game, we'll be set. I can't seem to focus on anything but this weekend. I've spent my class time this week on the Big East website, on West Virginia's website, checking out their stories about how they always find a way to win. Some of my professors are being very supportive of what we're doing and they understand how important this is to me, my senior year... and then there are always those professors that don't like the fact that I'm writing this blog instead of doing homework for their class... Promise, I'll focus on school after the season ends. I'm realizing that these are the last few weeks of my life I'll be a part of this team, and I'm putting everything into it. I've never been to the Final Four of the Big East; last year, Ingrid Wells and I drove up with our assistant coach, Nay, to go to the banquet. It was painful seeing USF and the other three teams getting ready for their semifinal games. At the start of the season, my goal was to get to the Final Four of the Big East, but after facing all the Big East teams in our regular season, I know we can do more. I'm confident that our team can play with the best of them. It's amazing to look back at my soccer career here at Georgetown. Coming in as one of the last recruits, I didn't expect to see the field at all as a freshman. I loved the game but I never would have thought I'd be making an impact on the program, nor did I think the program would develop into a top team in the Big East by my senior year. Playing in the Big East as a freshman was a huge transition from Trumbull United Lazers' soccer. These girls were thick, tall, fast and had leg three times the size of mine... oh, and they're real good at soccer... I remember playing UVA in an exhibition match my freshman year and feeling like a deer in headlights the entire game. Facing all these great soccer teams freshman year, losing to Notre Dame, West Virginia, all the Big East power houses, lucky to get out of those games 2 or 3 -0, I never would have thought in my four years, we'd be able to compete with those soccer dynasties. Nor, would I have thought we would be heading to the Elite Eight by my junior year or the Final Four of the Big East my senior year. I used to walk off the field after playing Notre Dame wishing I'd never have to play them again, I used to feel like I was running around aimlessly, chasing them around the field. Well, what I "never would have thought" would have happened, happened. We've come a long way in four years and this is the year I know we can beat anyone. There is not one team in Big East I am scared of or would not want to play again. The teams we've lost to, I feel we shouldn't have. I want to face them again because I know we can win. The Big East is a tough division and anything can happen in the tournament. Heading to the Final Four is a great accomplishment, but no one is satisfied with just making it this far, this is our year to win it. We're ready to leave it all on the field...Go Hoyas!