ON THE ROAD AGAIN: BLOGGIN' FROM THE TOURNAMENT TRIP

The VCU field hockey team is headed to the CAA Tournament for the first time in seven years and is looking to make some noise as the fourth-seed this weekend. The Rams will face off against top-seeded Drexel in Philadelphia on Saturday at 12 p.m. 

Before the Black & Gold hit the road, Mollie Wallace, a Center for Sport Leadership graduate assistant in the VCU Athletic Communications office hopped on the bus for the second time this year and will will be riding along with the team. We hope you enjoy "the ride".

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2010

8:45 a.m.- Breakfast in hotel

9:00 a.m.- Downtime until the game

Walked around University of Pennsylvania. We got to see the LOVE sign on the campus and Franklin Field. I felt smarter by just being on an Ivey League campus. 

1:00 p.m.- Watched Drexel vs ODU

It was a long double overtime game that ended with ODU defeating Drexel. You could tell that Drexel was tired from yesterday's game. I was really hoping that the game wouldn't go into overtime because it was so cold and windy. Plus whenever they would water the field, the stands would receive a wonderful mist that just made it that much colder. 

Congrats to ODU for being the 2010 CAA Field Hockey Champions!

3:00 p.m.- Head home to Richmond

Watched Monster In-Law with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Such a hilarious movie. Wanda Sykes is one of the funniest people on the planet. Couldn't tell you what happened the rest of the trip on the bus because I took a nap. I think this whole time change thing has really thrown me off. I do know that it was pretty quite for a good portion of the trip because everyone else was taking a lovely Sunday afternoon nap.

8:00 p.m.- Home again

Well we are back in Richmond. It was a fun, exciting, emotional trip and a great experience for everyone involved. I want to thank all of the coaches and players for letting me ride along and take part in this special time. It has been great getting to know all of the girls and coaches on these past road trips. I can honestly say that you guys are some of the nicest people I have met in a long time. You have converted me into a field hockey fan for life! 

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2010

7:45 a.m.- Depart for Drexel walk through

8:00 a.m.- This morning it is 38 degrees outside. BRRRR!!! However, the skies are clear blue which is a major improvement over yesterday. It is a great day for field hockey. There is definitely a sense of excitement in the air. Everyone is amazingly perky and awake this morning. I think the adrenaline has already kicked in (I know it has for me)

As we arrived at the field, they were putting up the CAA Championship signs which added a new level to the whole experience. Everything just got real.

8:45 a.m.- Back at the hotel for some breakfast. Practice was fun and relaxed. Time to warm up a little with some coffee.

9:35 a.m.- Hanging out for just a bit before getting back on the bus to head to Drexel.

According to the Weather Channel, it will be sunny and 48 degrees at game time. You can bet that I will have on my gold gloves and scarf on.  

10:15 a.m.- Depart for Drexel

Can't wait to see all of the Black & Gold fans in the stands!

12:00 p.m.- GAME TIME!!!

There is a really good crowd here for the Rams! Still really chilly and the wind doesn't help matters at all. The Rams' fans are super rowdy today. They bring a great energy to the field! 

I would like to give the first ever CAA Championship Ram Fan of the Game to Autumn Dea's mother. Throughout the game today, she constantly keep the Rams fans motivated. She has a powerful presence in the cheering section and was definitely the 12th VCU player.

2:00 p.m.- Great game Rams! We are all so proud of you guys! 

3:15 p.m.- Headed back to the hotel. I think that we all need some rest and time to unwind after today's game. 

7:30 p.m.- Dinner was delicious as usual. We ate at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant which used to be a fine textile mill in the 1800's. They have a Stone Pizza Oven and Sushi Bar as well as a yummy assortment of burgers. 

It was great that some of the parents met up with us at the restaurant to spend a little more time with the girls. 

9:00 p.m.- Back to the hotel.

I believe that everyone is heading to the their rooms to get some rest. It has been an emotionally taxing day for everyone. Time to sleep.

But don't forget to set your clocks back...Rams get an extra hour of sleep!!


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

8:00 a.m.- Breakfast in the hotel

Breakfast was really good. There were eggs, french toast, hash browns, fruit and muffins. Yummo! 

I think that we are all rested and ready for a big day in Philly. There is excitement in the air!

8:45 a.m.- Heading to Kid's Castle

10:00 a.m.- Still on the bus. I think people are getting a little punchy from spending so much time on this rockstar bus but I am not naming any names... Should be getting close to Kid's Castle.

Apparently Kid's Castle is a huge playground with castle and a maze in the castle. I don't know why every time I think about this place, I immediately think about the movie Role Models. I am half expecting to see Augie and his Medieval role playing friends so we shall wait and see. 

10:45 a.m.- No Kid's Castle for us today. It seemed as though ever road we turned down this morning is closed. How does that work? How do people get around in this state if all of the roads are closed? Boo! 

11:00 a.m.- We just got to meet Kelly's parents. Today is their 33rd wedding anniversary today. Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. McQuade!!!

11:40 a.m.- Heading to practice at Drexel. It will take us about an hour to get back into the city. It is 50 degrees and very cloudy which makes it feel much colder. However, the leaves up here are absolutely gorgeous. It has been nice to drive around and see some of the sites of the city and suburbs.   

12:15 p.m.- It is official..the First Season of Glee is complete. 

Random side note: It is amazing what people wear. Obviously we are watching What Not To Wear on TLC. It just blows my mind that people go on television and embarrass themselves like that. Do they not own a mirror or have any friends? Seriously! Okay...enough of that rant.

1-2 p.m.- Practice at Drexel

The girls look relaxed and excited at practice today! They are probably a lot warmer than I am because it was freezing standing on the sidelines. I think that my ears frozen. BRRRRR!!!!

2 p.m.- Rocky Steps

What a fun experience! We got off of the bus in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum and ran the up the steps just like Rocky did. I am still humming the tune in my head. People took turns getting their picture taken with the larger than life Rocky statue. A group photo was taken at the top of the stairs and it turned out beautifully. The view from atop of the stairs was amazing. You really got a great view of the city from up there.

After our Rocky moment, we went across the street to get our pictures taken with a monument that had a ton of random animals and people on it. There were great picture opportunities involved in this stop. Kelsey road a moose, Lisa was on a bear and I 'took the bull by the horns' so to speak. Tons of fun!  

3:00 p.m.- We are now back at the hotel to thaw out before the CAA Banquet tonight. I'm just sitting in the hotel room staring out the window at this beautiful we have been provided. You can see a lot of the different parts of the city. I have been surprised at how many old cathedrals there are around Philly. They are absolutely beautiful. There are so many trees as well which is something that I don't think people would expect in such a big city. 

There is one tree that has fiery red leaves which stands out against a sea of brown, yellow and green. Lovely.

5:45 p.m.- British Invasion!!! Guess what everyone....Laura Baker's parents are here!!! Mr. & Mrs. Baker flew all the way from Kent, England to be at the CAA Tournament and support the Black & Gold this weekend. Baker was a goalie for VCU all four years of her career. Since VCU never went to the CAA tourney during her tenure as a player, Baker's parents have come over to share this experience with her as a coach. How special is that?

6:45 p.m.- On the way to the CAA Banquet 

7:00 p.m.- CAA Banquet

9:00 p.m.- Well I am sure that you have all read the exciting news on the website!!! Let me tell you from someone who was there at the banquet, that is one of the most special moments that I have been apart of in long time. 

Congratulations to Rymme, Marle, Kelsey, Flore and Emilie who were recognized this evening. You girls deserve these honors for all of your hard work and dedication this season. 

Congrats especially goes to Coach Kelly McQuade for receiving CAA Coach of the Year! As someone who joined the party late in the season, I can honestly say that I was welcomed with open arms. Kelly is kind, personable, inspiring and hard working. She is a pleasure to work with and always willing to answer any question that I might have. Kelly deserves this wonderful recognition due to her dedication and motivation to make VCU field hockey better. It should be kept in mind that these words are being written by someone who has only known her for a short amount of time but she has already gained my total admiration. Congratulations Kelly! Thank you for everything!! 

10:41 p.m.- Getting ready for tomorrow!

Everyone is settling in for the evening so as to prepare for tomorrow. There will be a huge support squad in the stands for the Ram nation so it should be loud and exciting. So everyone, get some rest and GO RAMS!!!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2010

12:00 p.m.- We are on the road again!

This time we are headed north to the "City of Brotherly Love" or as Shannon likes to call it... "The Delph." Calling Philadelphia by this shortened nickname is a new trend that we will be starting on this trip. I am pretty sure that the Philadelphia travel and tourism board will start printing new propaganda ASAP. So just remember folks...you read about it first here on the VCU field hockey road trip blog. But enough of that...

I have never stepped foot on a bus like the one we are riding on. I am waiting for Bret Michaels to make an appearance. This is definitely a rockstar bus! There are tables, bunk beds, large TVs, a mini kitchen, WIFI, and a bathroom that rivals the size of the one that I have at home. These girls definitely deserve traveling in style and I am just glad to be along for the ride.

1:00 p.m.- We are rolling down the highway and the weather is gross outside. It is raining just enough to make the driving conditions a pain. The back of the bus is watching Glee (which is pretty much the best show ever in my opinion) and the front of the bus is watching TLC. 

2:20 p.m.- Stop for lunch at the Karl household.

3:10 p.m.- Headed to Philly

We just enjoyed a wonderful lunch. It was nice to get out and stretch our legs for a bit. A big thank you goes out to Shannon's parents for hosting us. 

Although we are only a couple of hours from Richmond, it is already colder and the weather is just getting yuckier. We have heard different weather reports of snow up in the mountains. I hope that I packed enough warm clothes. 

Now I do believe that everyone's stomachs are full so that can only mean one thing...NAP TIME!!!! 

5:00 p.m.- Rolling into Baltimore in rush hour traffic.

I have never seen traffic backed up for so long. This is crazy. Still watching Glee. I have read this week's issue of People cover to cover (thanks Coach Ellis).

7:20 p.m.- Finally arrive at the hotel!!!

After hours and hours on the bus and stuck in various levels of traffic, we finally made it to Philly. But can't rest for long...off to dinner.

9:30 p.m.- Back to hotel

So we are back from dinner and settling into our rooms. I believe that everyone is tired from a long day of traveling on the bus and with full stomachs, this group will not be awake for long.

We had a great dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse. It was delicious. It helped that the service was super quick because we were all starving. I must say that it was the most randomly decorated place I've seen in a long time. There was a trolly car in the middle of the restaurant, stain glass windows, old iron headboards used to separate booths and tons of old signs lining the wall. There was a lot to see. It almost caused a sensory overload.   

10:23 p.m.- I am really looking forward to tomorrow and all of the activities that are planned. It is going to be a lot of fun! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share this special experience with this wonderful group of ladies. 

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