Entry 5: August 6

“R & R”

The days here have been sooo relaxing! When compared to the stressful and busy days of preseason in South Bend, as well as the days spent by a lot of us who worked the Notre Dame soccer camps a few weeks ago, this Scotland trip has been a breeze. We’ve really had a nice chance to put our feet up and relax in-between games and training sessions. If the results continue as they’ve been coming, then this will turn out to be a trip from heaven!

Tonight was another big win for the Irish!!! 8-1 over the Banks of Dee United. The performance, which is what this Irish team concerns itself with most (as opposed to the result), was a strong showing. Good creative soccer was displayed by “Bobby’s Dazzlers”, as we were referred to the previous day in the Scottish Press & Journal paper. After the match, we all went back to a setting similar to the Pub after the first game and mixed with the other team and some of The Boss’s old friends.

Every Irish player that was available played in the match, and all played very well. An onslaught of goals came, starting with a three-nil lead at the half. Goals came from Goldie, Braun, Rafa, Chad, and Ratcliffe. Devo chimed in twice, in addition to Detter’s late goal. Almost all of the players put their names on the assist sheet just after Pablo’s name appeared atop the list with the first assist of the game. Bermudan-born Kevin Richards, who we call KR Screwdriver for some insane reason, also put a tally on the assist board.

Rafa (forward Rafael Garcia) had a superb game, making streaking runs in behind a defense that made a poor attempt to play a permanent offside trap. Rafa also was noted for his Ronaldo-like moves within the penalty box. Devo and Filippo Chillemi (whose father made a surprise visit on his way from Norway) entered the game at halftime and each did a splendid job of speeding the game up another level.

It ought to be noted that Flip won his first header in history last night – well, maybe not ‘won’, since it was unchallenged and in the midfield. But he did at least head the ball – well done Flip! Gianni “Batti” Mauro subbed into the match in the second half and did a good job locking down the left defensive flank.

This was not the highlight of Batti’s night, however. In warmups, the Italian Stallion managed to clear a 57-foot net behind the goal that was designed to stop shots just as the one taken by Gianni. Little did they know that he could shoot a ball over that fence, quite possibly clearing the North Sea and finding its way onto the shores of Norway. Flip’s dad said he’d do his best to locate it on his trip north.

Also noteworthy are the pregame all-stars. Coach Avery, old and clever as he may think he is, thought it wise to invent a game of soccer tennis played within the center circle of the field. We arrived at the stadium with lots of time to kill, and Avery must have seen this as his opportunity to shine. He played a good match, very cheeky – keep in mind he made up the rules as we went along – but he was outshined by two unlikely candidates. Yes, it was Dr. Leary and asst. athletic director Tony Yelovich that carried away the MVP trophies of the night!

Jess Lauer, our extremely organized team manager, has been teeming up with Tricia Matysak, our trainer. They’ve recently been spotted practicing what may become known as the shin kick. They’re either very advanced or lacking just a wee bit in the skills department (we’re not sure which as of yet).

That’s it for now. Poor Luke is still moving along with mono, but he’s always in good spirits. And Big Al is keeping up with the summer workout program here since he’s not able to play yet. Detter’s injured leg is allowing him to play through the pain and Flip’s ankle seems to be healing right up.

Things are looking good for the Irish. But, don’t leave us now … the last two games may have been one-sided, but the next three are against professional reserve teams, as opposed to the last two semi-pro teams that are together only three times a week, and often out of shape. The next three games will be a much better test for us, and we can’t wait to see how we stack up!

Thursday: Ross County reserves at 2:00 p.m.

Wish us luck, Luck of the Irish!!

– Greg Martin-