I am currently sitting on the bus on the ride home from our Syracuse-Army trip. We just finished up our last game until after the Christmas holiday. Loyola University Maryland has it’s final exams starting Wednesday, so everyone on the team will be able to focus on their schoolwork now that we don’t have a game for a few of weeks.
A few weeks ago, Coach Logan warned us that the next few weeks were going to be extremely busy, and he was right. We would have 6 games within a 13-day period, along with all of the schoolwork professor’s pile on you since it is the end of the semester. He also warned us that we would be missing the last week of classes, which is usually when assignments are due and professors review the material that would be on the final exam. Thankfully everyone was able to manage their off time wisely and get their work done ahead of time, so we would be able to focus on our games when we needed to.
We faced American, Lehigh and Pittsburgh all within a five-day period. We were hoping to get our revenge on all three teams from our last years games, where we had lost to each of them. We were able to defeat both American and Lehigh on our home court, which was awesome, but couldn’t leave Pittsburgh with a win, unfortunately. Because the games were scheduled within a couple days of each other, we did not have much time to reflect on our previous games. We would finish a game, then have to immediately focus on the game to come.
The team came home from the Pittsburgh game around 2 a.m. last Thursday morning. We attended our last day of classes that day, and headed to Syracuse Friday morning. Although this was my first time to Syracuse, I feel like I had been there a million times before because Syracuse is Alyssa’s home town and I’ve heard so many stories. The Carrier Dome was unreal and everyone was so excited to be playing in it against such a great team. Although we lost the game against Syracuse, it was an unreal, once in a lifetime experience that I think everyone enjoyed.
After the game, the team got to go to Alyssa’s Nonna and Nonno’s (Her grandmother and grandfather’s) house for dinner. Being from Italy, her grandma made AMAZING homemade pasta, sauce, meatballs, desserts, etc. Mrs. Sutherland also made her famous brownies and Oreo balls which are to die for. Let me just say that the food was so good that I had to lie down on a couch afterwards from consuming so much. The whole family was so welcoming and the team had an awesome time. Thank you again Sutherlands/Ponzas!!!
Before our game against Army, we were allowed to walk around the beautiful West Point campus. It was awesome to see all of the historical monuments and have Alyssa give us a history lesson about every statue we saw… Smarty pants. She even quizzed us on our walk back to our hotel. To her surprise, we actually got a lot of her questions right.
The Army women’s basketball head coach, Coach Magarity, was nice enough to give us a tour of the athletic building where the gym is located. We got to walk through the Army sports hall of fame. It was so cool and interesting to see all of the history the school has. We also got to touch a piece of the Berlin wall, which was located in the same building. I wish we could have stayed another day or even another hour because I feel like I only got to see a tenth of the school’s history.
Tonight’s game was an awesome, well deserved, team win. Coach has been saying, “put 40 minutes together” meaning, play all 40 minutes to the best of your ability. Execute the offense, play good defense, out hustle the opposing team, and just play solid Loyola basketball for the full 40 minutes. Coach was pretty impressed with our performance tonight and gave the team credit for putting together about 34 minutes of the 40 (6 minutes were taken away from the 40 because we let Army come back in the second half). 34 minutes might be the most amount of minutes put together all season. We defeated Army 53-47.
Alright, well I better start studying for my first exam that will be on Wednesday at 9am! Accounting…bleh. Hate it. Wish me luck and talk to you all soon!