Red Towel Diaries

Red Towel Diaries are the writings of WKU's student-athletes about their feelings and observations before, during and after a game or road trip. A New Red Towel Diary will be posted about once each week by a different athlete in a different sport.

Freshman Melissa Robinson
Women's Soccer
Maumell, Ark.
Little Rock Central HS)

Thursday, October 4, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Today is our first day on the road. This trip is a little different than the previous ones because only 18 players were chosen to travel. Leaving Bowling Green with such a huge win against defending conference champs Florida International brings a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for these next two games in Arkansas. We will be playing Arkansas State and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Knowing that these teams have not had as much success as we have had this year makes us even more confident that we can bring home two more wins for Western.

Our first-year team of almost all freshmen was not expected to have as much success as we have already had. I don't think the team could be on fire much more than we are right now. Our success has not come easy, though. Since the first day of preseason, we have had intense practices and training day in and day out. As a result, we have grown tremendously as a team.

I have to say that my experiences on this soccer team have been the best in my soccer career so far. The girls are all such hard workers and very supportive of each other on and off the field. I know that I have already become a better player.

Our team is confident that we will continue to have success in our conference games, but just because we have done so well, we know that we cannot take any game for granted. We will play just as hard against these Arkansas teams as we did against Florida International. Hopefully we'll bring home the new record of 11-1!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
This morning we had a light practice at the ASU soccer stadium. We juggled, worked on some set plays, and took some shots. Since our team is striving to maintain a 3.0 GPA, we took the opportunity to study at the library for a few hours before our pregame meal at McAllister's.

It was really cloudy all morning, and while we were eating, the rain finally came down hard, with huge gusts of freezing wind. We warmed up in the rain, but the rain pretty much held off during the game. It was extremely cold the whole time, though. The wind was a definite factor throughout the entire game. We came into the game knowing that ASU has been scored on in the first 15 minutes in seven of their games, so we came out hard and scored early. We scored two goals in the first half, but that was not good enough for us. We dominated the other team most of the game, but we couldn't put in as many goals as we should have. There was a major change in the second half with the wind blowing so hard against us. ASU came out to beat us. They had nothing to lose, but we held strong and scored another goal. Unfortunately we did allow them to score off of a set play, ending the game with a 3-1 score. I don't think our team was completely satisfied with the way we played. A win is a win, but I think everyone felt like we could have played better.

I am getting so excited about going home tomorrow!! I can't wait to see all of my friends. A lot of them are coming home from their colleges to see me. I have actually been able to see my parents and brother and sister a few times, but I have only been able to see a few of my friends when they came to our game in Tulsa. The whole team is eating at my house for dinner, so it should be fun.

Saturday, October 6, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Today is the day I have been waiting for a long time. I get to go home!!! The charter bus pulled up in front of my house in Maumelle, Ark., at about 4 p.m. We have lots of fun stuff to do at my house like ping pong, air hockey, a trampoline, volleyball net, and a fun swing, so everyone just hung out for a while before we ate. It was so funny when the whole team played volleyball. The Lady Topper volleyball team better watch out!

My brother and his roommate grilled chicken sandwiches, and my mom had some other good side dishes to accompany them. My mom always has plenty of food plus some, but she had never seen how our soccer team eats! We devoured just about every piece of food, including the 48 chicken breasts. Everyone was amazed how much we eat.

It was a really special time for me because a bunch of my friends came home from college to see me. My best friend Lauren came home from school, and this was the first time that I had been home, so it was really good to get to see everyone. My other best friend, who lives in California and goes to TCU, surprised me by also coming to visit. It was one of the best surprises ever because I'm lucky if I get to see her once a year! I won't get to go home again until Thanksgiving, so I tried to make the best out of the 17 hours I was home. It is also two days before my birthday, so I got to open all of my presents from my family. We also had birthday cake with all of my teammates, family and friends surrounding me. It was such a good feeling to be around so many people who care for me.

Sunday, October 7, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Today we played UALR. It was such a beautiful day, but the fields were kind of torn up, and the grass was wet. We didn't expect much from UALR because of their record, but they came out to play hard against us. They were very physical and challenged for every ball. They actually surprised me. I think our team came out not only with confidence but with arrogance because we have been doing so well. This was visible in our performance. I don't think we played as well as we could have, but we found a way to win, and we came away with a 4-2 victory. We definitely had many other chances to score that we didn't capitalize. This brings our record to 11-1 now.

Things couldn't be more exciting for the soccer program right now, but we have got to keep working hard. We have five conference games left, and none of them will be a cakewalk. We have two hard games against Denver and North Texas next weekend, so we will continue to practice with intensity to prepare.

I had to say good-bye to my family and friends. It was really fun for me to play in my home town and to see so many people come to support me and my team.