Clarksville, Ark.-- Ozarks Women's Soccer team member, Kaitlyn Williams, reports on not only the games on the field, but the team off the field.
The Team is the Ultimate Champion
Week 1: Louisiana and Mississippi College
University of the Ozarks women’s soccer team travelled to Louisiana and Mississippi this past weekend to kick off the start of conference games in the American Southwest Conference. We left on Wednesday around noon. Normally we take a cruiser, but this time we ended up taking two U of O vans. As we were travelling down I-40, about 30 miles outside of Russellville, the tire on the trailer on the UO van in front of us blew out. Our driver Jim and Coach Bryan changed the tire and we were on our way to our first stop, Alexandria, Louisiana. We made it to our destination without any other troubles.
On Thursday morning, instead of a morning run, head Coach Bryan Drotar decided to take us on a leisurely walk down old railroad tracks. He told us to focus on the tracks and not step on the rocks. We stopped midway and made an inspirational talk. He told us "What’s in the past is in the past and from now on we are going to be moving forward and not looking back." "We aren’t going back the way we came.” He meant this statement to be literally and figuratively. Instead of walking down the train tracks back to our hotel, we had to find another way back. By becoming focused and working together as a team, we found our way through bushes and trees and barbed wire fences and made it back to the hotel. Following the inspirational speech, Ozarks came out on the field with a fierce passion to beat Louisiana College and that it is exactly what happened. We beat them 3-1. We celebrated our win with pizza in the hotel.
We awoke on Friday morning to travel to Mississippi, but on our way there, our coach thought it would be enlightening to spend the day at Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. During the Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, entrapping the Confederate army under Lt. General John Pemberton. On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered after prolonged siege operations. The park was filled with memorials from different states and the trench lines from the Unions and Confederates.
Throughout this past weekend, from being in close quarters to being on the field, we grew closer to one another and that’s what part of being a member of the Ozarks women’s soccer team is all about. We rely on each other, we defer to each other, and we sacrifice for each other because the team not the individual is the ultimate champion.