New Mexico Trip
Day 1: Thursday –
The day started off just a bit too early with a meeting in the locker room at 6:45AM. Thank goodness for Eliot gate swipe access as it made the walk across the river somewhat manageable in the wee hours of the morning. Everyone seemed to still be sleepwalking as we somehow made our way through airport security. Take out your laptops, take off your shoes and jacket; no security threats and it was time to leave. Dispersed throughout the plane, many of us took our middle seats (thanks Coach) and fell asleep even before the inflight movie. Apparently those who slept didn't miss much as the entertainment for this flight was the mediocre remake of The Karate Kid. After a layover in the great state of Texas and some delicious airport food, we hopped on the second leg of our flight and finally arrived in New Mexico.
Experiencing the brutal 90 degree heat for only a couple of minutes made it clear why Coach Junot wanted to come back to New Mexico. After getting settled in to the hotel for a couple minutes we were off again to training. One of Coach Junot's former players from the University of New Mexico was now the soccer coach at Sandia Prep High School here in Albuquerque and he let us use his field that afternoon. After about 5 minutes of warming up we instantly felt the heat and all 5000 feet of elevation hit us. A couple standard pre-game drills later, it was fitting that the sun set over the mountains as we walked off the practice field. We were all pretty exhausted from a long day of travel and a high intensity practice; it was time to eat. Assistant coach Mike Graczyk grew up in Albuquerque and his family graciously hosted us for dinner, a typical New Mexican feast. The food was unbelievable. First we destroyed a bowl of nachos and queso then for dinner we had smoked chicken and lasagna. We couldn't have asked for nicer hosts or better food. After some competitive games of ping pong and brushing up on our golf strokes in the backyard, it was time to go back to the hotel Elegante. That is actually the name of our hotel.
We closed the day with a players meeting discussing logistics and tactics for our game against UC Santa Barbara tomorrow. Everyone was excited to play a big name soccer school and we were ready to go. Off to bed for a good night's sleep, we have an important day ahead of us.
-Chi and Wolf