top of page

Catching Up With A Cardinal - Jillian Strimbu

I couldn’t have asked for a better freshman soccer season. The last week has been full of ups and downs, but in the end I am so grateful to be a part of such a great team. Here is an inside look at some of the experiences that our team has had in the last few weeks. Our game against Capital on October 27 was one of the biggest this season. Even though we had already clinched the OAC regular-season championship after beating Marietta 2-0 just days before, we weren’t going to let Capital beat us, especially after losing to them last year. Plus, it was Senior Day so everyone wanted to give the seniors a win. After our warm up, the seniors were recognized with their parents and the game soon began. Only nine minutes in, Molly Kroger crossed the ball on the ground into the box and Rachel Denz shot it into the goal! Everyone celebrated the goal by hugging Rachel and Molly, and all season I had never seen Rachel celebrate as much as she did after that goal. It was awesome to watch! The game was physical and competitive game, but we still had a 1-0 lead at halftime. Capital scored to tie the game at 1-1 early in the second half, but we were determined to score again. After Megan McCabe got fouled in the penalty box, Lindsay Henderson made her second penalty kick goal of the season to put us ahead 2-1 in the 77th minute. We managed to hold Capital off for the rest of the game and as the clock wound down to zero, our team started cheering and hugging each other. It was a great feeling to beat our local rivals, and it was wonderful to see how happy the seniors were on their special day. On Monday, October 29th, while four of the teams in our conference played their first postseason tournament match in the freezing cold weather, our team had its annual Halloween practice in the Clements Center. Everyone was dressed up in a wide variety of costumes. Coaches Brandon Koons and Tara Carter were dressed up as the guys from the TV show Duck Dynasty, and their costumes were spot on, complete with mustaches and lots of camouflage. The seniors had all dressed up as Playboy bunnies, and they hopped around all practice, while Emily Bates, who was Hugh Hefner, acted out her role perfectly by hugging the other seniors periodically and walking around with a cane. The rest of us had a variety of costumes on, including cats, cinch bugs (the bugs that had eaten the grass on our home soccer field), the Spice Girls, exterminators, and Jelly Beans. The costumes made it a really fun practice as we played 6v6 scrimmages and a drill called World Cup at the end of practice. Even though we had a fun time, we were all focused on beating Ohio Northern that Wednesday (the 31st) in our OAC semifinal outing. It was game day. Our team met in the locker room around 11:30 a.m., where our jerseys were laid out and a typed motivational quote sat on our jerseys that we all read before we started warming up. Pump up music was blaring in the locker room to get us focused and ready for the game, including Christina Aguilera’s “Stronger”, which is one of our favorite pregame songs to listen to in the locker room. Around noon, Brandon gave our team a speech about the importance of the game and what we needed to do to win. He also showed us a video, as he does before most of our games. This video showed goals that Otterbein players had scored in previous OAC tournament appearances. Ready for the task ahead, we left the locker room and headed out to the field to begin warming up. We had a good warm up, despite the cold weather, and everyone was ready for the game to start. The game was competitive as both we and Ohio Northern created chances to score. Ohio Northern scored the first goal in the 38th minute off of a corner kick, but we were determined to come back. Only 71 seconds later, Lindsay Henderson fired a shot on goal from 30 yards out that hit the crossbar. I was near the goal, and as it came bouncing back into the box, I redirected it back past the goalkeeper. Scoring that goal so quickly after Ohio Northern had scored was an incredible feeling, and it was awesome to get hugged and high-fived by my teammates on the field. We went into halftime 1-1 and optimistic about our chances in the second half. Three minutes into the second half, Ohio Northern scored to go ahead 2-1. Everyone played their hearts out for the rest of the half, and although we had some chances to score, none of them went into the back of the net. It was heartbreaking to watch the scoreboard count down to zero, because that meant we wouldn’t be moving on to the OAC championship game, something that every single one of us wanted so badly to do. Everyone on the team, including the coaches, were visibly upset after the game, but we still circled up and put our arms around each other like we do after every game. It was hard to think that our season could potentially be over. We unfortunately did not make the NCAA Tournament, but I am so grateful for everyone on the team that has helped make my freshmen season amazing. To the seniors, Rachel Denz, Emily Bates, Molly Kroger, Molly Newhouse, Jess Yaney, and Sarah Wolfe, you will be missed dearly. Thanks for setting the standards high and for inspiring me to play my best everyday whether we were at practice or at a game. To everyone else on the team, thanks for making my freshman soccer season unforgettable and I can’t wait to continue to play with you ladies! OCWS <3 HONK! Jillian Strimbu Avon Lake, Ohio

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page