Countdown To NCAA Game

Army practing at Jeffrey Field

Army practing at Jeffrey Field

Nov. 11, 2011

Universit Park, Pa. - Mady Salvani of the Army Athletics Communication Staff gives a brief rundown of Army's trip to University Park, Pa., for the women's soccer NCAA game vs. No. 13 Penn State, Friday night, Nov. 11.

Army arrived in the state of Pennsylvania around 1:30 at Jeffrey Field on the campus of Penn State for a light practice Thursday afternoon.

I was with the team in 2008 when they went to Virginia for Army's first NCAA appearance, and you would think the field would be better shape further south. It could not compare to the Nittany Lions field. The crew was also out making certain everything was okay.

Though it was cold, a few players practiced in shorts. It was a light practice but one that was well organized by head coach Stefanie Golan and her staff. I have been to several practices, and this was just like the others with the players relaxed and confident.

After practice, the team went to the Berkey Creamery, which Tracy Nelson told me about prior to the trip. The players and staff had either shakes, ice cream on a cone or in a dish - either way, you were given a healthy serving.

Army headed to the hotel to check in and relax prior to going out for dinner. The Ramada had a sign welcoming the team and it was appreciated.

Dinner was awesome. Army went to the Tavern and the best part was that you could get as many side orders with the meal as you wanted. I am happy to report that Bob Geller, who will be calling the play-by-play Friday night, tried just about everything.

After that, it was back to the hotel.

GAME DAY Friday morning arrived with breakfast at 8:30 downstairs in the hotel. The team stretched at 10:30 in the hotel followed by subs.

Departure at 2:30 - the players went to Champs and Coach Golan, women's SWA Monica Love, and myself attended an NCAA meeting. On the way we saw snowflakes - it was a warm 40 degrees, so I wasn't too worried.

The meeting was chaired by Bucknell women's soccer coach Ben Landis, and lasted just over an hour going over rules for players and coaches, what time they could arrive on the field, etc. What surprised me was when they said that halftime could be shorter than 15 minutes, but both coaches had to agree.

After the meeting, we took a taxi to Champs to meet the team where we ordered something to eat, then watched the USA vs. France international soccer game on the big screen TV. When we left, USA was trailing 1-0.

We headed to the field where the players went into the locker room to get changed and taped.

Getting closer to game time and everyone is excited and looking for an Army victory. It will be cold as the temperature is 39 degrees now and should dip to the lower 30s, but the heat of competition and cheering the Black Knights on should keep everyone warm.

Game time 7 p.m. ... catch it on ITT Knight Vision with Bob Geller ... go to www.goARMYsports.com

GO ARMY - BEAT PENN STATE!!!!!!!!

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