Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NPL Championship, Next Level of the Experience

Finally our entire family was able to travel with Reagan's soccer team for a big tourney. 
This past year the EGA U13 team played in the MRL (midwest regional league) and NPL (national premier league). That translates into playing very few games in Nebraska and lots of travel. Typically mom or dad took Reagan along with 1-2 teammates and another parent for a weekend of 3-4 games, so it was nice to be together as a family this time. 

Wednesday at 5am we jumped in the van headed out on our 10 hour drive to Indianapolis to support Reagan at the National Championship Tournament. Despite the crowded space and long hours, I joyfully report no fights. Probably because most of us slept the majority of the time. As a mom who is conscious about feeding the family healthy food and keeping costs down, I am so proud of my meal planning. We spent $194 on food for 5 people over five days, which include eating out a couple times. I even tried out a crockpot meal in the hotel, we all loved it.

Game #1 vs NEFC, from Boston Massachusetts. Talk about a bad draw, we started with the team who ended up winning the whole thing.  Yep, we lost to the new reigning National Champions. These girls were big, fast, very physical and played like a well oiled machine. I do feel that it is important to also mention that they illegally substituted a player and got away with it. They were good enough to win but I would love to ask the coach if it was worth tarnishing his integrity. At half time the score was 0-0. The first 10 minutes of the second half we were strong, and I believe had them a little worried. We had a goal called back because we were off sides but at least we knew we could score on them. Then the heartbreaking goal happened, we scored on ourselves. (Remember that happened in the women's world cup too?)  Before I knew it, NEFC scored another goal and our team deflated. Coach decided to make a risky change to our formation which left our defense exposed. Our girls played their hearts out but we lost 4-0. Note the hazy pictures...there was a heavy mist the entire game. Keeping my lens clean and dry was impossible.

Sidenote: they had a crazy dad on the sidelines who we will talk about for years to come.  "BOOM!"
Yeah, my girl pushes a little too.
Reagan heading the ball
Game #2 vs STA, from New Jersey. We had a lot of chances in this game but just couldn't seem to get the ball in the net. Previously this team had played NEFC many times and tied them or lost by 1 so they were most certainly a quality team. We ended up 0-0 when the whistle blew after 70 minutes of soccer. In pool play it is possible to tie a game, it isn't until the semis or finals that a tie goes into OT (overtime) and then eventually into a shootout to determine a win if needed.
Reagan in white shooting the ball.
Game #3 vs BRSC, from Louisiana. At the start of day three we already knew it was impossible to advance to the semifinals but that didn't prevent us from leaving it all on the field. The girls, again, played with great intensity and desire. Despite the two very skilled forwards on the BRSC team our goalie shut them down. We finished the tournament with a 7-0 win which meant lots of girls got playing time. Reagan had one goal in the game, I'm not sure if the picture below is when she scored or not.
Reagan heading for the goal!
The first of many National Tournaments!
Proud of These Girls!

Monday, July 13, 2015

He Loves The "F" Word

And the Rockets Red Glare
The Bombs Bursting In Air

Yep, that's what he loves best.
Our 3rd Annual Fourth of July party was a big hit! A blocked off street, fewer people and no little kids made this mama host more relaxed. No group picture but we totaled about 40 people. We were so pleased to have a special guest, Mr Firecracker himself, Rod Foley and family. We first attended the Foley 4th of July in 2004. The first few years of living in Omaha we couldn't image being anywhere other than their back yard and drove back to GI for the celebration but eventually we had to cut the umbilical cord. Having the pyromaniac crew back together made for an epic evening.

For three years now we have had a guest bring some "special" fireworks. I'm pretty sure we need to replace some sod in the neighbors yard thanks to the "special" boomers. I don't know what they are or where they get them. I'd like to keep it that way.

This was a big struggle for me but no time to make decorations. So sad but apparently no one noticed.

The Soccer Girls
The High School Group
The call themselves THE SQUAD
The Littles
And then the next day Chris' little sister and boyfriend showed up 24 hours late for the party. It wasn't intentional but it worked out for the best. We made dinner and sat on the deck watching fireworks. Another perfect evening!


Nebraska State Cup

I just found this post in draft form. Even though it is old, I'm posting it anyway.

The State Cup Tournament determines a team's ranking in the state. May 30th and 31st Reagan's U13 soccer team competed against Bennington Moxie, Gretna Sting and EGA White. We won all three games outscoring our opponents 17-2.
Sending the ball up field
Stealing the ball from mid-fielder, Jay
Look at this face after heading the ball...Ha Ha Ha
Advancing to the semi-finals on June 6th secured a place for us in Midwestern Regional League next year. Game 4 of State Cup was against CSA, a team out of Lincoln. This game gave us a good challenge. Even though the CSA girls are bigger and stronger, like other teams few can hang with our girls the full 70 minutes on the field.

In the Nebraska State championship game we faced a local team who some may call our rival. The gotsoccer.org website even had them ranked above us but there really is not doubt which team is stronger, faster, quicker, smarter, better coached...truly the dominating team, we are. Reagan and her teammates possessed the ball the majority of the game and crushed them with a 4-0 victory. For those who do not follow soccer, four goals in one game is a lot of goals.

Now on to the Region II championships in FoxCities, Wisconsin. Go Elite Girls Academy!!

Everyone Loves 1/2 Birthdays

This sweet girl has had to wait seven months to have a friend birthday party. What kind of mom does that? Most of my family makes fun of me because I go a little overboard with the girls' birthday celebrations. Years from now when our girls sit around talking about all the ways Chris and I scarred them during their childhood, Olivia will remind her audience that she was the ignored child. Let's get it on record...she is NOT ignored! The truth is, this mom has a hard time saying "no" and I tend to over estimate my ability to get everything done. Next December there will be a party for my little 10 year old instead of an apology.
Abby Olivia Kayla

Olivia really wanted to take friends ice skating. What a fun day! I reminded the girls to take jackets but Chris and I stood outside the rink freezing in our summer attire. :) These three kept track of how many times they each fell and luckily made it home without any injuries or bruises. At the end of the day Olivia said, "This was the best birthday party ever!"