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|In its season-opener, Florida State got down early 2-0 but rallied to beat Minnesota 3-2.|
As a Division I student-athlete, my goal is clear: To be a national champion. I share this goal with my 25 teammates on the FSU women’s soccer team.
I spent the whole summer in France, which is home for me. Whether we come back from Japan, Germany, Iceland, England, Australia, France or one of the 50 American states, it is always a pleasure to reunite with our teammates after a good summer. The joys of preseason -- the smell of fresh grass, the heat of the August Florida sun, the refreshing rains, the numerous team dinners and the noise of the contact between a soccer ball and your brand new pair of cleats -- get me excited for the upcoming season.
After falling short of our journey last year (we were defeated in the national semifinal by Stanford), our team returned to the practice field on Aug. 1 with plenty of ambition. Following some rigorous fitness tests, the two-a-day practices finally started. Each returning player was assigned a new player to mentor to help integrate them on how we do things at Florida State. We teach them how we attack, how we defend and how to cool down after a match. We even help each other bridge the language gap because of the vast diversity on our team.
After two speedy weeks of training, the excitement was certain as we headed to the University of Minnesota. However, we probably lived the worst seven minutes ever in a season opener. We seemed to have lost our spark in the locker room as we found ourselves down early 2-0. We fought hard and managed to get a 3-2 win after a great comeback.
Without a doubt, this new team showed some character. Yes, the two goals were hard to digest when you expect excellence, but after the game I was very proud of the way every single one of my teammates battled throughout the 90 minutes on the field.
Traveling is one of my favorite things in the world besides soccer and, luckily, soccer allows me to travel a lot. Discovering and passing through the different states in the U.S. is also part of the college soccer season. Indeed, downtown Minneapolis, with its many sights, including its professional sports’ venues, is now much less of a secret to all of us.
Milwaukee was our next destination. The Marquette University soccer team was our next opponent, but after many interruptions in the game because of lightning warnings, the game was canceled and ruled a no contest despite 41 minutes remaining in the match. We were leading 3-0 and only the lightning stopped us on this day. With no time to shower, we hustled to catch our flight. Luckily, we made it on time. Needless to say, I felt bad for the passengers sitting by us.
Even if we faced some small difficulties along the way, we can say that this first trip was a “bon voyage.”
Ines Jaurena is a senior defender from Charenton-le-Pont, France. She enters her fourth season as a starter on the Seminole backline and has registered 26 career points on eight goals and 10 assists. She has appeared in 72 matches, making 71 starts at Florida State.