May 15, 2004
As I write this installment it's now 6AM Wednesday morning (4PM Eastern, Tuesday afternoon) in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. I just hung up from speaking with Elliott with last night's game results. As you hopefully already know, FSU notched its first victory of our tour with a resounding 7-1 victory over Queensland Athletic Side (QAS) in ANZ Stadium in Brisbane. Scoring went as follows:
Time Goal Assist Score 16:00 Gallegos Boyce 1-0 18:00 Ratliff Bybee 2-0 28:00 QAS 2-1 30:00 Schnugg Beal 3-1 HALF) 58:00 Schnugg Gallegos 4-1 78:00 Bybee 5-1 80:00 Gallegos Tollefson 6-1 81:00 Bybee (PK) 7-1
I will insert Coach Baker's game notes and assessment when he provides it to me later today. Our next game will be Thursday night here on the Gold Coast. Hopefully we'll ride our momentum and even things up against the Australian National Team forcing a rubber game on Saturday afternoon.
A couple of comments about the game photos. Sorry some of the photos are so dark. Our game was at night and the small flash on my digital camera didn't have the ability to throw the light far enough. Hopefully you'll still be able to identify the players.
Now to bring you up to date. As I shared with Elliott, the hotel telephone systems have not allowed me to send messages from my room. With our active pace there is regrettably some delay on when I can get access to an internet café and/or business center. Also, please excuse my periodic spelling errors-spell check is wonderful except when my mistake is a real word. That said, here goes.
Monday was a full day of activities at Couran Cove. We all enjoyed the myriad of options-watching the sunrise on the beach, jogging on the beach, bird watching, walking through the rain forest, enjoying the wallabies, tennis, kayaking, bocce ball, jet skiing, boogie boarding, and biking around the island. Unfortunately it was too windy for Coach Baker's deep sea fishing excursion. At about noon the team began to gather around the pool for swimming and sunbathing before a light lunch. We were joined at lunch by Kristin's father Steve who arrived from Manila via Singapore.
Following lunch there was time to relax and let our food digest before Day 1 of the Down Under Challenge, a Harvard Sports tradition for athletic teams visiting Australia. Coach Baker divided our travel party into four teams for the competition. The teams were:
Day 1's events consisted of four athletic challenges: Flag Dash and Grab, Thong Throw, Australian Rules Football Pass for Accuracy, and a Water Run/Kayak Relay. Everyone enjoyed themselves and there was plenty of laughter, especially when we observed one of the wallabies helping itself to Josh's cookies from Kim Record's bag. At the end of the first day's events the aggregate results in pursuit of the Golden Thong Award are:
Tasmanian Devils 39 Emus 38 Koalas 22 Kookaburras 18We will complete the competition later in the week at Surfers Paradise. We have no specific details about Day 2 except that it is more cerebral in nature. More to follow.
Following the Down Under Challenge the team had time for a quick shower before heading off by bike to the surf side playing field for a late afternoon training session. When we arrived at the field there were about 25 Agile Wallabies enjoying the grass. Darkness fell at about 5:15 and the team biked back to the eco-cabins. On the way back some of us enjoyed a rare sight--a Golden Swamp Wallaby and her Joey grazing in the forest. The Golden Swamp Wallaby is only found on North and South Stradbroke Islands. Because they are very shy, sightings are rare and normally at night. After relaxing briefly, we gathered at 7PM for a team dinner at the poolside restaurant. By 9PM everyone was ready for a good night's sleep after a full day of activity.
Tuesday morning after breakfast in our eco-cabins we bid farewell to the resort and boarded the 10AM ferry back to the mainland. We loaded the bus and went back south along the coast to our accommodations for the remainder of our trip at Surfers Century Apartments in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. We were lucky that our apartments were ready and we were able to check in immediately. The hotel/apartment building is about 100 yards from the beach with all apartments providing beautiful panoramic views of the ocean. After dropping off our bags we headed by bus for a pasta pre-game meal and then a walk back to the hotel. We settled in and prepared for our one hour bus ride to Brisbane for the second game of the tour.
You already have the game results. As promised here are Coach Baker's comments:
"Wow! What a 90 minute performance by our young ladies last night. We have gotten better each half over the past two games and it was exciting to see us play such high quality soccer. Our Queensland opponents were missing their national team players, but we did a great job against there 3-5-2 system. Everyone on the team played, everyone contributed and the goals were spread over four players-with Schnugg, Gallegos, and Bybee scoring two each. Schnugg is playing at a very high level and is creating a lot for us in the final third. Bybee is playing like a player who wants her game and our team to attain new heights. Trotter continues to be in a class by herself-wonderful skill, dynamic runs, and really holds the midfield together. Beal got her first start since coming off injury and logged a good 65 minutes. Roland has been great in the back and finally got some rest after we took a 7-1 lead. The spirit of the team seems to be at all-time high ands they are looking forward to playing the national team tomorrow. York, McKenzie and Mims are all playing well in goal and each has shown good signs. We will work today on some tendencies we saw from our first game versus Australia and refine some things we are doing to hopefully be successful tomorrow. It will again be an honor to play the Australian National Team and represent Florida State University in this unique opportunity. Go Noles!"
Today (Wednesday) we had breakfast in our apartments. At 8:15 AM we boarded our buses for a brief ride to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Originally a bird sanctuary, it is now a bird watchers delight with over 1,400 native birds and is known for its wild Rainbow Lorikeets. As you will see from the photographs the girls has a wonderful time feeding these beautiful birds. Today the sanctuary also houses koalas, kangaroos and other animals native to Australia. We had the opportunity to pet the kangaroos and most everyone had their photograph taken holding a koala. After about three relaxing and enjoyable hours at Currumbin we boarded our buses for a ride out into the Hinterland for scrumptious spit pork and beef lunch streamside at Currumbin Rock Hole. Following lunch Darren briefed us on the Australian knowledge/trivia/slang phase of the Down Under Challenge. The teams will spend the next couple of days hunting down the answers. We then returned to the hotel for some free time before a 5PM team practice. Tonight we'll dine together as a team here in Surfers Paradise.
That now brings you up to date on our activities. Barring unexpected complications I'll attempt to get the next installment with photos to Elliott on Friday. Until then,...