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The Last Five Minutes with Lizzy Simonin

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Preseason is almost three weeks away. Let me repeat, PRESEASON is almost three weeks away. Coming in as a freshman three years ago, I was scared out of my mind to say the least. Now, being a senior, I am excited and anxious to be back in Memphis for my final year of what I love doing the most. I think I can speak for the seniors (and our two red-shirt seniors Mel and Snake) that we want to go out with a bang this year. And it starts out with all the hard work we've been putting in this summer.

I have spent my summer back in Kansas City practicing with my fellow teammates Christie Kline and Taylor Isenhower. We've been training three times a week at 6:30 in the morning, so we'll be used to the early practices come August  Our team made it to Nationals, so we are leaving for Bowling Green, Ky., this weekend. Wish us luck! I have also been playing tennis with my dad almost every day. I might make it to Wimbledon next year...maybe not.

I'm going to assume everyone who is reading this blog is a huge soccer fan, so I know you watched/heard of the USA vs. Brazil game!!! Can you say clutch? I loved watching the Americans play over half the game with a man down, and yet pull out the W in dramatic fashion with p.k.'s! It just shows that never giving up, believing in yourself and your team, and giving 110% until the final whistle can win you a game. I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

This upcoming year will be a little different compared to the last few years. We will have 14 new faces on our team. I believe the sky is the limit for this team. And I think these youngsters can add depth to our team. But seriously, I believe we can and will do great things this year. We've got high expectations this year again and we won't be satisfied with nothing less than a conference championship and winning in the NCAA tournament. I think each individual on this team brings something special to make our team winners, whether it is skill, speed, passion, character, or spirit.

Summer time is the time for each player on our team to improve with fitness, weights, and ball skills, so we can be successful for the fall. Preseason is an evil word, but it's not just about the jingle jangles (you don't want to know what those are) and 300 yard shuttles (you could probably guess what those are). It's about the team coming together and becoming a unit. Playing Division 1 soccer is like a job, and making sacrifices is what it's all about. Waking up at 6 am for practice, lifting weights, 2+ hours in the heat, having two soccer games a weekend instead of living a normal college life, as well as taking full time classes, and study hall with the team are just some of the things we'll be doing for the next four months. Not many people get this opportunity, so we've got to take it and run with it.

Last thing: one thing I've learned throughout the years of being a college student-athlete, is that you can't dwell on the past and previous mistakes. You have to take what is given and learn as an individual as well as a team. Everything happens for a reason!

Lizzy Simonin out.

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