How long is a 15 hour flight? 

Four movies, three stretching sessions, two meals, and a looooong deep mouth-opened sleep. This was not just ANY flight but my first time traveling to Australia, playing an Australian sport, in the first ever Women's International Cup. What an opportunity! Feelings of excitement, anxiety,  and I-want-to-kick-butt-NOW ran through my body throughout the flight. As a new player, and new to Freedom, I wasn't sure where I stood, how much paying time I would even get, and just how this whole crazy footy scene would be like. I've played various sports all my life -- football, basketball, ultimate, and ran track -- but never at this level. At the moment I stepped off that plane, I was now representing my country.

We luckily drew a BYE for the first round of women's play, so we had a few days to train, get to know each other, cheer our hearts out for the Revolution men, and scope out our opposition. We did a bit of sightseeing, barbecuing, and even had the chance to tour the SCG and meet some of the Sydney Swans. We were able to have a practice match against each other -- a very muddy, sweaty BRAWL of a game -- and I knew all of us were here to WIN and give absolutely everything to be on the starting 18.  The first ever Women's Internatonal Cup Freedom Team was announced the next day, and I was so happy and excited, and of course a bit nervous, to be playing a new position for me -- starting at forward pocket. The build up to our first game was almost unbearable -- we all just want to get on the field and PLAY!

Wednesday. Game day (finally). Feeling pumped and strangely calm. WE ARE READY.

The Australian Indigenous/Multicultural team, from what we had seen from their game against Papua New Guinea, was going to be a physical game and a good match-up that we NEEDED to win. We all had different ways of prepping for our first big game -- from special meals and stretching routines, to uniform dress-up parties in our rooms! But once we stepped off that bus (in the rain!) we were all one team.  I could not wait to get on the field.  After chaotic handball warmups inside the locker room and Coach Barnsey's talk, we finally stepped on the field of our first game of the International Cup!  Because they didn't have the recording, we got to proudly sing, though definitely not perfectly in key, the US National Anthem.

The wet and muddy conditions were definitely a factor in the game, but it did not affect the ability of the Freedom women to score lots


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