Blogging With Bishop and Berzins
AMES, Iowa - Former Iowa State soccer players Jordan Bishop and Elisa Berzins have continued their careers, playing professionally in the WPS and in Iceland, respectively. Both Bishop and Berzins will be providing updates about their experiences playing at the next level all summer on cyclones.com. This is the fifth installment of blogs for the summer.
It's been another week out here in Boston, and we are right in the middle of our season. This week has been very busy with Breaker practices in the mornings and Aztec practice at night. Both teams have been working hard in their practices. For the Breakers, we worked on possession and ended with shooting drills, but with the Aztecs we concentrated on positioning throughout the run of play, primarily in the offensive third. We took on the Breakers Thursday night. They didn't have a few of their main players and starters due to being gone for the World Cup and some with injuries. It was a hard fought game in tough, rainy conditions, and allowed our team to see how we match up against the professionals in a more legitimate setting. They are a high-tempo team and put the pressure on hard from the start. I started the game at center-midfielder; however, needing to make changes, I moved to center back about halfway through the half. The score was 2-0 Breakers before I took a free kick about 40yards out that a teammate Caitlyn finished cutting the lead to 2-1 before heading into halftime.
Starting the second half at center back again, we settled the ball and put the Breakers on their heels more, gaining confidence as a team. We were hit hard when the ball took a tough bounce on the wet turf that allowed a Breaker forward to get passed our goalkeeper putting the score at 3-1. I was then moved up again to center-mid where I would finish the game. After another unlucky break and unforced error put the lead up to 4-1 Breakers, we kept working hard as a team, winning 50-50s and tackles. With 15 minutes or so remaining, we channeled the ball defensively to the middle of the pitch where we could pick off passes. It came in my direction where I could intercept it and with our forwards making great slicing runs, I slid it through the back line. My teammate Becca took it to the endline and crossed it to the 6 where another teammate Carson was there to finish.
We lost the game 4-2, but it was a great feeling to play players who are part of one of the six organizations left in the league that so many girls (like myself) aspire to be a part of. As a player, I was comfortable battling against the pros and staying true to who I am on the pitch. It was a great experience and with continued practice with the Breakers and Aztecs I will continue to grow. Until next time...
HIT IT HARD FOR EVERY YARD!!
Sorry for missing out the last few weeks on blogging, but I definitely have some really great news to share regarding my season and upcoming events!
As for our team, we are doing "okay". We are unfortunately falling into a pattern of playing down to the level of the team at hand and not finishing opportunities when necessary. We have now missed two penalty kicks that could have secured us two different wins the in the league, leaving us in first place. However, we are stuck in fifth right now playing well but just not good enough. We really have a lot of great talent and hard work coming from each player, but our forwards are panicking at the last minute and shanking shots or missing 1v1s. I am proud to say that our defense has been playing phenomenally the last few games and really starting to come together. Now that our coach has really decided on his starting defensive team, we have become very close on and off the field. Now we just need to make that happen across the whole team so we are all on the same page! :) We currently are 1-1-3, where three of the ties could potentially be wins, but hey, we are getting there!
Here in the Icelandic league, you play every team once in the first part of the season, and then play them all again after a short break. With 10 teams in the league, we have four more games to complete and our season is halfway over. I can't believe it is going so quickly. On the other hand, I just recently booked tickets to Frankfurt to watch the Women's World Cup. I will be in Frankfurt for 3 days and watching the Germany v Nigeria game in the Frankfurt Stadium, which will be the 'finals' stadium. I'm going to try and see the US game early July as well. I will be in Frankfurt and Amsterdam for about a week. I can't wait to tell you all about it!