The first road trip is always something special. It puts a smile on my face seeing the freshmen embrace all the little things such as the fancy hotel rooms, the delicious breakfasts and the new gyms.
Our first road trip took us to Boston. After we finished practice on Thursday we got on to the bus with some Chipotle and a lot of excitement. The regular season was only a few hours away.
We arrived at Boston around 11 p.m. and went straight to bed, to get our eight hours of sleep; Coach Mal taught us well.
One of the best feelings is waking up and realizing it is game day. We started the day with a delicious breakfast and watched a film to be optimally prepared for Harvard, our first opponent in the regular season.
From our scouting reports we knew that Harvard was a really good team, with a lot of freshmen that liked to shoot the ball and crash the boards.
During shoot-around we got a lot of shots up to get used to the baskets and the balls. Besides that, we also worked on our own offense and went over all the different adjustments we could make depending on how Harvard was going to guard us.
After shoot-around we went to the pregame meal, which Bertucci’s, one of my favorite Italian restaurants, provided.
After every meal, we usually have a couple of hours of free time before it’s go-time. We use this time to catch up on homework, read and take naps. Whatever works to get you ready for the game.
We arrived at the gym two hours before the game started. Each of us have our own little pregame ritual. For me it is to be the first person on the court. There is something about being the first one out there that helps me get my mind right for the game.
The keys for the game were rebounding, communication on the screens and defensive discipline. We have worked a lot on defense lately and we were determined to take a step forward in this game against Harvard.
We had a solid start, and after the first quarter the score was 11-10. We started off the second quarter with a lot more energy and used a 12-0 run to finish the first half with 31-19.
During halftime, Coach Barron usually tells us what went well and what we have to work on. He pointed out that we did a good job on the boards, but that we had to do a better job in our zone defense.
We started into the third quarter with scoring seven points straight, which gave us a lead of 16. Harvard wouldn’t be Harvard if they didn’t fight their hardest to get back into the game. They cut our lead down to seven, but we were able to get it back to double-figures and secure a 64-53 victory. 1-0 Baby!
The best thing about this win was that it was a team effort. We had Sigi Koizar, Mikaela Gustafsson and Chantel Charles all score in double-figures. Liz Wood filled the stat line with seven assists to go along with five points, six boards and four steals, while Lauren Bodine got us all going with her energy and hustle plays.
After the game we went back to the hotel. We were going to play Boston College on Sunday, which meant that fortunately we could stay in the same hotel.
Saturday was reserved for reviewing Harvard’s game and getting ready for our next opponent. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, which is always a highlight on trips to Boston. After that we went to support our women’s hockey team. They played Boston University, which was only a few minutes away from our hotel. Unfortunately, our support didn’t help them get the win, but I am sure they’ll get the next one!