Monday, April 9, 2012

1st Game = SUCCESS!!

I am laying in bed after another late night return drive from Moscow (remember the one that was supposed to take 4-5 hours and in fact took about 9?), exhausted from our game and a long drive.  We had our first game yesterday against the team that is in 5th place in the league standings.  We left Sunday morning and drove through the day to get to our hotel in Moscow.  We didnt get to see Moscow at all because of the short amount of time we were there, but from my bird's eye view of the city, I was ok with not exploring it.  It looked pretty cold and colorless.  Not to mention, we were there for one purpose... to win a game.

So Monday morning, we woke up had breakfast at the hotel and then had to prepare for the game.  We had a meeting before the game that covered the usual things... play fast, run fast, tackle hard, pass perfectly, shoot a lot and most importantly, win... you know the usual pre game talk.  We drove to the stadium just at the temperature warmed up to a pleasant 1 C which is about  35 F. The rain/sleet started coming down just as we started our warmup... it had no intentions of making it a pleasant game for either team.  Within the first 10 minutes of the warmup my rain jacket was soaked through and my gloves were more like weights for my hands than warmth givers. But luckily for me, I was used to playing in the rain (YEAY Portland!).

The field was turf and that combined with the rain made the game FAST! There was not much possession, although, I have found the style of Russian futbol is extremely direct and aggressive, so I dont know if the game would have been any different if it were not wet.  I started at attacking mid.  The game was full of fouls, yellow cards, temporary injuries and shouting from everyone. BUT... we won the game 2-0 and I scored both goals!  It was really exciting and a great way to start my official professional career!

The first goal came in the first half from a long ball played into the box and the goalie came out to punch it away but one of our forwards, Njoya from Cameroon, went up to challenge the keeper and the ball ended up bouncing in the 18 and I ran through with an open net volley from about 10 yards out.  The second was late in the game, we had a free kick just to the inside of the corner on the end line. Our outside mid, Elena Dannilova (we just call her Danny) hit a driven ball low to the near post where I ran in and got a touch to slip it in the near post. I must say it was a perfect ball played in, because their defense left the entire near post open.

Everyone was excited with the win and I got some affirming handshakes and cheek kisses after the game  for a good performance from the American. We went into the locker room to get cleaned up where there was NO HOT WATER.  We might as well have bathed in the snow... It was terrible, and it took my breath away it was so cold... all I wanted was to warm up after playing in the sleet... but that was just too much to ask for!  I put on all of the warm clothes I had and drank some coffee to try to warm up.  Then, we got on the bus to make the 9 hour drive home.  We got in at about 3 AM and now here I am writing to you all!

Good start to a pro career, and a good start to the second half of our season!!




  1. This is soooo exciting D! kinda wish they had a feed on ESPN so we could watch in America haha

    1. I wish I had wifi here, I wish I had a toilet seat on my toilet, I wish I didnt eat cabbage at every meal, and yes I wish they had an ESPN feed so everyone at home could watch :-) hahaha RUSSIA!!!!!

  2. Dear Danielle
    WOW -- What great news - congratulations!! I can only imagine what a soccer game in Moscow must be like. You are an amazing person and I know you have to be very strong to be doing what you are doing. I am sending lots of love and hugs. Your blog is the best part of my day and always brings a smile to me. When you return I can't wait to cook you something very special just like your great Nana Ruscetti would have done - NO CABBAGE I promise.
    Love, Auntie BeBe

  3. Great start, I sure wish we could have seen it. Love pops