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Hello and thanks for clicking on my blog! My name is Ginger Miles and as Virginia’s women’s lacrosse volunteer assistant coach – and former goalkeeper – I’ve decided to give anyone who’s interested a behind the scenes look at life on the road with our women’s lacrosse team. We’re certainly a fun bunch and I’ll be posting weekly with the inside scoop. Thanks for reading!

The UVa women’s lacrosse team has loaded up the bus for Durham, N.C., for the first round of NCAA Tournament action against Duke on Sunday. I’ll be blogging regularly this whole trip, so be sure to check back for updates on the inside scoop!

Sunday, May 10th 2009
5:42pm: Well Wahoo fans, this one didn’t turn out like we wanted it to. We played well. We played with heart and hustle and were as prepared as we could have been. But today, much like our other losses, was marred by lapses in execution. It wasn’t for lack of effort or want because our girls played their hearts out. Down by four at one point, we managed to claw our way back to even the score by the end of regulation. We even had a prime opportunity to win in regulation but the goals just didn’t fall for us today. We hit a few pipes, took some bad shots and their goalie made some big time saves.

We went into overtime ready to fight and scrap for everything, but Duke was able to get on the scoreboard first and that was all she wrote. It’s certainly hard to see the long faces of our nine fourth years who have worked so hard over the years. The disappointment however, is not just their burden to bear, but that of our entire team. We’re all sad that the season didn’t turn out as we envisioned it back in September.

This loss however doesn’t mar the good times we’ve had this season, the moments of brilliance and all that these fourth years have accomplished. Hopefully, they will remember the good times and all the great moments that being a part of Virginia lacrosse has brought them. I know what it’s like to have your senior season end before it should, but when I look back I remember the laughter, the big wins and most of all the best friends I will take with me forever.

It’s been a wild ride this season and I hope you guys have enjoyed it as much as I have. It hasn’t been an easy road but it’s been a pleasure writing for you all and an honor to be a part of this team and coaching staff.

Until next season, Wahoowa.

10:25 am: Morning everyone and Happy Mother’s Day moms! Time to wake up, put your contacts in, take your retainer out and brush your hair – it’s GAME DAY. The game is at 2 p.m., so we got to quasi sleep in another day, which was wonderful. We just gathered for breakfast in the hotel lobby. The girls cleaned them out of fruit and oatmeal pretty quickly – team favorites on game day. The TV in the lobby was tuned to ESPN so we all chatted about last night’s basketball and hockey games. I saw some long faces from Caps fans, but I assured them it would be ok. I told them that us winning today would be solace enough for last night’s tough loss in OT.

Everyone seemed to be well rested and ready to go. We’ll be doing our pregame meeting and treatments over at the field today, so we’ll be packing up and leaving our little hotel homes momentarily. Hope to see some familiar faces in the stands! Hearing that kazoo after our first goal makes any place feel like home. Ok, time to load the bus for Koskinen Stadium! Wish us luck!

Saturday, May 9, 2009
7:38 pm: Dinner was fantastic. It was Italian themed and with the beautiful weather, they set us up outside on the patio. Soon after taking our seats, bread and salads arrived, but that didn’t last long. The wait staff was friendly and attentive and did a great job keeping our hungry girls happy. To be honest, I was a bit worried about their ability to handle such a large group particularly because they only had two chefs in the kitchen. When my ravioli arrived however, all my worries were quickly put to rest. It was delicious. Reports all around were overwhelmingly positive and I gave Col two big thumbs up with the pick. Time for dessert then home to change into sweats and watch the Caps take on the Pens (we have a handful of Caps fans on the team, including myself).

So far things have been great this trip – the hotel, the food, the ride down… until it was time to order dessert. As the waiters took our dessert orders, dark clouds began to creep over us. The wind picked up and the sky opened up a downpour. Luckily for us, the patio was covered and we stayed dry for the most part. We hurried through dessert to get back to the hotel before things got any worse.

As we drove home, we noticed that lights were out everywhere. We pulled up to our hotel only to find that the power was out there as well. The hotel management told us our room keys would still work and assured us the power would be back on soon, so we all headed for the stairwells to make our way to our dark rooms. Sure enough, thirty-eight minutes later, we have power! I’m in my sweats, happily fed and the Caps score is still 0-0 so consider it a disaster averted. Looks like we’ve weathered this first Duke storm. Hope tomorrow goes just as well! I’ll check back in before pregame…

3 pm:
Back at the hotel after practice. We have some down time now before dinner which I think is well welcomed by the girls who have been studying and working out non-stop for the past couple of weeks. Practice was fun and intense, but short. It’s 90 degrees today in Durham which is probably the hottest day we’ve had all year. A cool breeze certainly helped as we ran through all the important things.

Then the coaches surprised the girls with a little wrap up of….drum roll please…TOUCH FOOTBALL. It’s a long standing tradition to play something fun, and touch football is usually the game of choice. The teams were first and fourth years vs. the second and third years. The second and third years however had a couple of ringers, with Colleen QB-ing and our videographer (and ex-football player) Fred at wide receiver.

It was a lot of fun. Now, it’s time to relax until dinner at 5. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be going!

11 am: We pulled into our hotel last night a little before midnight- well past my bedtime but the girls seemed not to notice how late it was (probably because most were glued to the Celtics/Magic game). Before leaving we practiced in Charlottesville and found ourselves very grateful for a tiny bit of sunshine. It’s rained just about every day this week and I was beginning to think that the sun had forgotten about us in Charlottesville. Despite the rain we found a way to power through and get in some solid practices. Between practice and morning workouts the girls have all been holed up in the library (known as “Club Clemons”) to study for their exams. With the last exams having taken place on Friday, every last bit of focus is now turned to the task at hand- DUKE.

Because it’s graduation weekend for the Blue Devils we were forced to stay a bit out of town in Morrisville, NC. Colleen however seems to have found a gem of hotel- I’m considering asking about their monthly rates it’s so nice. The rooms are well designed and furnished and we all quickly felt right at home. The beds were so comfortable it took every ounce of effort in my body to pry myself up for breakfast this morning. With just a practice and dinner on the slate today everyone was pretty happy to sleep in.

We arrived in Durham a day early to solidify our focus. We want nothing on our minds but the game before us and being well rested, prepared and focused bodes well for us. We’re about to load the bus for practice but I’ll keep you posted…

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