Erin continues her player journal with her second entry, this time a mid-season checkup. Creighton is currently 8-4-2, sitting fifth in conference, and are needing to finish in the top six to make the conference tournament. You can read all the previous posts by Erin and the other goalkeepers here.
You’ve split time with freshman goalkeeper McKenzie Meola this season. How has this changed your approach to the season?
Of course, splitting time has been frustrating and a bit discouraging but I can honestly say it has changed my outlook towards many aspects of my life, not just soccer. I have found that I approach practices much differently. I think I am at a point where I am training better than I ever have because I know I have something to prove. Rather than personally fixing problems that may have happened in a game the previous weekend, I really just focus on bettering myself and my skills overall. I have also been very nitpicky with myself in training sessions, really focusing on having clean hands or extending my range on those full extension saves. I have raised my own personal standard drastically. Finally, and I feel most importantly, this season has truly taught me that soccer is not everything. Splitting time has allowed me to step back and see things from a different perspective. I believe that soccer is a huge part of who I am, but I have come to understand that there is more to life besides soccer.
How has an improved season affected the locker room?
There is definitely a noticeable difference in the mentality of the team this year in comparison to last year. I would say the biggest difference is how close all of us are. We basically start every day together at practice and then we all go our separate ways for classes but I personally always eat dinner with a couple teammates at the dining hall. All of us truly like being around each other which is seriously awesome. Of course everyone has people that they are closer to than others but I can honestly say that I could talk to anyone on the team about almost anything. This group is definitely special and I honestly think that has a lot to do with the fact that we are such a young team. We gained 15 new girls (freshmen and transfers) this fall season and I think the fresh, positive mentality that new players bring to a program has helped drastically. We have truly developed a winning mentality.
What’s been a standout moment this far into the season?
This team always finds a way to have a good time together, whether it be playing “Heads Up!” in the airport during five hour delays or scaring people in their hotel rooms, we always can find something to laugh about and have fun with. But recently before our game against Seton Hall the mood on our team has never been better. In the locker room we were playing music like always but the playlist before this game in particular was very different in the best way possible. We were playing everything from the Backstreet Boys to Nsync to Beyonce but right before we were about to go out for warm up the last song we played was I Want You Back by The Jackson 5. So obviously five people on the team designated themselves as “The Jackson 5” with four back up dancers and one lead singer. The rest of the team surrounded them singing along and dancing and the atmosphere in the locker room was absolutely incredible. It was one of those moments with your team that make those 6 AM lifts and all the fitness tests worth it. We ended up beating Seton Hall 4-0 that afternoon and it was one of the best games we have played all season. Since then, I Want You Back has become a staple in our pregame, locker room playlist.