October 15, 2010

RIDIN' WITH THE RAMS: JOURNALING FIELD HOCKEY'S ROAD TRIP TO N.C.

The VCU field hockey team is off to one of the best starts in the program's long history, so VCUathletics.com wanted to show the passionate Ram fans exactly how the Black & Gold travel and what goes on when the squad is away from Cary Street Field.

This weekend, Mollie Wallace, a Center for Sport Leadership graduate assistant in the VCU Athletic Communications office will be riding along with the team as it heads to North Carolina for its final two non-conference games of the 2010 campaign. The Rams will battle Davidson on Saturday and Appalachian State on Sunday. We hope you enjoy "the ride".

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2010

7:45 a.m.- So it is another early morning. Hats off to student-athletes because I miss sleeping in and I have only been on one road trip. Wow. 

8:15 a.m.- Walk-through and Warm-up

We boarded the bus and headed to Appalachian State so that the girls could get a feel of the field. Apparently they have a different type of turf than other places. I guess it is really different because they will be playing on a football field and not a true field hockey surface. I have learned so much about the playing surfaces of field hockey. It is like a whole new world has opened up right in front of my eyes: wet, dry, long and short. 

The stadium at Appalachian State is really nice. I guess it helps when you have won back-to-back championships in football. Megan Botteri commented that she liked the layout of the sideline benches. I must say that I agree. Instead of being in a straight line, they are in somewhat of a semicircle which is more conducive for talking to the team.  

It was very cold this morning (a chilly 43) but so beautiful. The sun was hitting the trees which really made the colors of leaves pop. The wind is really blowing as well. Hopefully, the wind will die down and it will warm up a little bit.

9:20 a.m.- Back to the hotel for breakfast and some downtime before the game.

11:15 a.m.- Leave for the stadium

1:06 p.m.- Game starts again Appalachian State

Rachel Whitt assisted by Kelsey Scherrer for a goal 5:57 into the game

Marle van Dessel scored at 14:34

Kelsey Scherrer scored 18:56 into the game

1:46 p.m.- Halftime score 3-0 VCU

2:32 p.m.- RAMS WIN 3-0

Record improves to 12-4

VCU had 21 shots and 11 penalty corners

3:15 p.m.- Hitting the road to head back to Richmond

8:40 p.m.- Made it back to Richmond.

It was a great weekend. I had so much fun "ridin' with the Rams." I want to thank the team and coaches for letting me tag along this weekend. You guys are a fun group!

I hope that you guys (my readers) have had as much fun reading along as I have had writing. Thanks!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2010

7:50 a.m.- Girls come down for a quick warm-up in the parking lot. They need to warm-up because it is a chilly 41 degrees outside this morning, but it looks like it will be a beautiful day to play field hockey.

Hats off to these devoted players because they are always early. If Kelly says that they are meeting up at eight then the Rams will be down 10-15 mins before the assigned time. It is a very impressive trait for a team and it speaks highly of this young, energetic team. 

8:20 a.m.- Time for breakfast

Oh my gosh...that was one of the best breakfasts at a hotel that I have ever seen or eaten. They had everything you could want to eat for you first meal of the day: fresh fruit, bagles, cereal, roasted potatoes, waffles, bacon, eggs, biscuits, and custom omelettes. Delicious!

We are heading out to the field around 10:00 a.m. 

10:15 a.m.- In route to Davidson

The mood on the bus is one of excitement and enthusiasm. The Black & Gold are listening to their warm-up to get pumped for the game.

10:35 a.m.- Arrive at Davidson. Pre-game meeting with team and coaches. 

Don't ask me what happens in the locker room because I don't know. Somethings are just sacred.

11:00 a.m.-  Warm-up at the field

It is a wonderful sunny day without a cloud in the sky. It is 63 degrees but feels a little hotter when sitting in the sun.

11:53 a.m.- Line- up is announced and the singing of the National Anthem.

For your VCU Rams
2 Kelsey Scherrer
3 Marle van Dessel
4 Stephanie DeMasi
5 Emilie Soares
7 Chelsea Hill
8 Flore van Dessel
12 Melanie Marotta
15 Rymme van Dessel
16 Arialle Hess
18 Autumn Dea 
17 Erin Jablonski

12:00 p.m.- IT IT GAME TIME!!!

12:16 p.m.- GOAL for your VCU Rams! 

Goal by Arialle Hess with the assist given to 7 Chelsea Hill.

12:35 p.m.- Halftime: VCU 1 Davidson 0 

12:53 p.m.- Davidson scores their first goal off of a corner to tie things up.

1:02 p.m.- VCU answers in the 17th min with goal off of a corner. Scored by Kelsey Scherrer and assisted by Flore van Dessel and Stephanie DeMasi.

1:08 p.m.- The Rams aren't playing around. They just scored another goal. Give the assist to Kelsey Scherrer and the goal to Melanie Marotta

1:19 p.m.- Davidson scores 

1:25 p.m.- VCU RAMS WIN 3-2!!! 

It was an exciting game to watch. The Rams played a tough game and came out on top. 

1:50 p.m.- Back to the locker room to get ready for the trip to Boone, NC

2:15 p.m.- On the road again...

It is gorgeous outside. Fall has found Boone. The leaves on the trees have changed into wonderful shades of orange, yellow and red. It has been nice to unwind on the bus and look at the scenery while twisting through the mountains. 

The team was really excited after their win which only makes them more pumped for tomorrow's game. 

4:15 p.m.- Made it to Boone, N.C.

Dropped everyone off at the hotel to get some rest. The coaches and myself went to the grocery store to get some breakfast for tomorrow morning (well, I needed batteries for my camera).

While walking into the grocery store, Laura Baker barely escaped a vicious dog who lunged out of a parked car. It might have only been a chihuahua but he has the disposition of Cujo. We are all glad that Laura lived to tell about it.

6:42 p.m.- Dinner is served 

Wonderful sandwiches were eaten. 

7:10 p.m.- Team meeting and scouting report for tomorrow...should be a good one. Enough said.

Based on the game played today, I am sure that everyone is going to bed early because I am just tired from watching. 

Game is tomorrow at 1 p.m. but we will be up early.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2010

I have been charged with the task of traveling with the Rams and providing an insider's look into the world of the VCU field hockey team. I will do my best to be your eyes and ears this weekend.

11:45a.m.- So  we ended up leaving ahead of schedule which I believe is always a good sign. Trips should start off on a good note and this one certainly did. 

The bus we are traveling on has WiFi which I was really surprised about. I have never traveled on a bus that has WiFi and televisions. I know I really don't get out that much. 

To pass the time, coaches and players bring movies to watch on the bus. First up on the list wasDisney/Pixar's UP. As good as this movie is, I don't think that many players made it through the whole thing. Let's just say the bus got very quite once we were rolling and people finished their lunches. So you know what they say, "When ridin' with the rams....take a nap."

1:20p.m.- Crossed into North Carolina

2:00p.m.- Started watching the Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher movie Killers. I hadn't seen it before and I thought that it was pretty good. I think that a few individuals just watched it for Mr. Kutcher...

4:00p.m.- Watching the classic....My Best Friend's Wedding

4:30p.m.- Hit traffic 3.4 miles from our exit...sitting on the interstate is no fun when you know that you are soooo close to your desired destination.  

4:55p.m.- Arrive at the hotel in Mooresville, North Carolina. Miles traveled so far...275

5:10p.m.- Head to the rooms. One of the joys of traveling with a team is waiting in line for the elevators. Thank goodness this hotel has two. Made the mistake of being in the back of the line. 

6:15p.m.- Off to dinner at Midtown Sundries Restaurant

Dinner was amazing. They had burgers, wraps, seafood, pasta and much much more. Midtown is located right on a lake and when we arrived the sun was setting over the water. So beautiful.

Not only was the food good but the entertainment was phenomenal.

I believe the description that best sums up this wonderful, inspirational performer is.....a geriatric crooner with tap shoes. This man was a silver haired fox dressed to the nines in a white dinner jacket and bow tie who sang Big Band hits off of a karaoke machine. It was magical.

While waiting for our food to arrive, we kept ourselves entertained by trying to guess how many more minutes it would be before everyone at our table was served. Congratulations to Brenda, our bus driver, for having the closest guess. And then while we were waiting for the check, we tried to guess how much the bill would be. Congratulations to Lisa, the graduate assistant for field hockey, for winning this little contest.

8:30p.m.- Arrive back at the hotel.

Had a quick team meeting with everyone to discuss the game plan for tomorrow morning. Everyone departed to their rooms to get some rest.

10:00p.m.- It will be an exciting day tomorrow. The showdown with Davidson will begin at High Noon. You better believe that these ladies are ready to battle.

Today has been a fun and exciting time. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Be sure to keep reading because we are all on this ride together....   

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