Sophomore Mollie Pathman is traveling to La Manga, Spain with the U-20 U.S. Women's National Team. She is going to be providing a blog during the trip so Blue Devil soccer fans can follow the team on this special trip. To submit questions for Pathman, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. She wants to know what you want to hear about her trip to Spain.
Over the past two days we have continued trying to adjust to the time zone and have been preparing for our first game on Thursday. Monday we had the morning off to do some homework and then in the afternoon we had training. In training, we worked on transitional play between offense and defense and at the end we had an interquad scrimmage.
At night we had a meeting were we watched film on the top four teams from the 2011 Women's World Cup. We tried to pick out the qualities that made each team special. Our coach (April) worked as an analyst for FIFA during the World Cup so she had a lot of insight about the teams and could point out which aspects they were the best in the world at. We created a list of these qualities and discussed how we can implement them into our game. There is a lot of be learned from watching the full national team and other countries.
Today (Tuesday) we trained in the morning. We broke up into our positions -- backs, midfielders and forwards -- and each did our own technical training. After that, we played 8 v 9 in half field to work on our defensive shape and attacking patterns. At the end of training, we had another strength and conditioning session with our fitness coach. This was our last one for this trip because they don't want us to be sore for the games.
In the afternoon, we had a regeneration session which consisted of a mix of foam roller work, stretching and lacrosse ball deep tissue work. They want to make sure that we are ready to go for our game on Thursday. As part of the tournament rules, there are limited substitutions so we all have to be ready to play three 90 minutes games in five days.
The other teams we are playing just arrived today. Today was one of the German girl's birthday and at dinner they starting singing happy birthday to her in English so we joined in. Then, after they sang in German. It was pretty cool because all the women's teams (Switzerland and Norway) and the men's teams (they are semipro but I am not sure where they are from) clapped along too. This was the only real interaction that we have had with the other teams but it was a cool experience.