The night before the semi-final games, the conference hosts a banquet to honor the four teams competing and also to announce the All-Big East teams. At the banquet, it seems surreal as fellow female athletes dressed in “business casual attire” appear completely unrecognizable, at times awkward and out of character from the foes on the field. I, personally, am a prime example of the awkwardness; going from shorts that go down to my knees, baggy t-shirts, mid calf socks and sneakers every day of my life...to a skirt, dress, or something more formal is a shocking difference and a sight to see. The night of the banquet I rocked some great black slacks and a conservative blue top. Emily Menges wore a sun dress...it’s October. Gabby Miller who is quite fashionable and actually looks normal in nice clothes, was complemented on her outfit multiple times by people on the other team...Kind of wish she would have helped us not look like idiots, but whatever. We managed the best we could in the time available to be somewhat presentable.
The banquet facility arranged the seating by team, obviously, can’t have any fights breaking out before the big games. We were starving, and unfortunately the “junior captains” in charge of the sending us up to the buffet line, of course, picked my table last. We hit the buffet pretty hard; pork, stuffed chicken breasts, pasta salad, fruit and bread...it was all pretty good. Going up for thirds, on a mission to get more of that pasta salad and bread, I accidentally almost trucked a girl getting out of her seat to receive an award...oops! Anyway, this year, Georgetown had a great showing in the All Big East honors. Sam Baker and Daphne Corboz made third team All Big East. Ingrid Wells, Camille Trujillo, and I made first team. This is the largest number of Georgetown players to be recognized on the All Big East teams in any one year; it’s great to know that we are respected among the coaches in our conference.
On game days, all I can think about is the game...I can’t do school work or be productive at all. We are normally pretty busy with film, meetings, and meals, but if we have down time I usually take naps or lay in the hotel bed looking at the other team’s website. I am one of those players with a routine on game day; everything from what I eat, to what I wear, to when I shower is a routine. I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, I’m a “little-stitious,” I’m not alone here, even teammate, Emily Menges, has some of the same exact patterns which need to be adhered to. It’s weird, annoying to keep up with too sometimes, but I have to do it. It differs for home games and away games because at away games I have to follow the schedule set by our coach.
Anyway, for breakfast I always start with cereal...I’m a skim milk fan along with the majority of my team and when we asked for skim milk at breakfast in West Virginia, the woman looked at us like we had three heads. She said, “Skim milk? I don’t think we’ve ever gotten that.” This was a small set back...at least we still had Cheerios and 2% milk, so I survived. For lunch, we always get Panera on road trips as our pre game meal. I get the same thing every time, but we were informed during film that we would be having a buffet at the hotel instead of Panera. Another speed bump, but I figured I could find some toast and chicken/turkey or peanut butter somewhere in the hotel...and low and behold I was able to make myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Even though this was not the normal routine for me, it worked out just fine. I normally have a cup of coffee before games to get me going, and I drink plenty of water so the dehydration aspect of coffee really doesn’t affect me during games. I made coffee in the room and it smelled like burnt popcorn...so I opted not to put that anywhere near my mouth. At this point I realized nothing had gone as planned, but I didn’t even care I was so excited and nervous about the game.
The game got away from us very quickly, WVU scored one not too far into the second half, then another soon after. Now down 3-1, a comeback would be tough, but certainly not impossible. Before I knew it they scored again, making it 4-1 and again 5-1. At this point as difficult as it is to have to play 15-20 minutes down 5-1, we kept going. I realized this was the last time I’d be on a Big East field and I was going to go all out the full 90 minutes. We continued to give them trouble up front and played hard until the end. This loss was devastating, knowing that this was my last Big East game, last Big East tournament; that winning the game was within our reach and sights at the end of the first half, and that we were so close to the final game. As painful as this loss was, I know that all my teammates and I left everything on the field, and didn’t stop fighting until the last whistle. It stung for a couple days but we had to forget about this and move our thoughts onto the NCAA tournament.