Joyeaux Noel!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have really “dropped the ball” (goalkeeper pun intended) on updating my blog. But to sum up the last 2 months…

We played about 6 matches and did not fair as well as I would have liked. I think the middle grind of the season wore us down and fatigue and injuries started to set in. I also received a red card early in our game against Arras, and served a 2 game suspension. Last night, I returned to the pitch to face the Champion of the World, Olympique Lyonnais, in Lyon. We lost the game 3-0, but what a fun match to play! I am really proud of my team for being mentally and physically tough and fighting throughout entire match. We played with tenacity and heart, and it was really great to see us rise to the challenge of a very strong team. We need to carry that attitude into the new year!…

On a non-football note, I have continued my French lessons and am doing much better with the language. I definitely am not fluent (by any means), but communication is not such a huge barrier anymore. It’s exciting to see the progress! In October/November, one of my best friends from home came to visit here in Yzeure. We had a great time and it was so nice to show someone where I live and what I do on a regular basis (Sleep, eat, play soccer. Rough life I know). Thanks for coming Linds!

The Lyon game was our last match before the holiday break, so I am finishing my packing now and preparing to head back to Lyon for the night. My first plane departs from Lyon and, 15 hours later, I eventually will land in Louisville, KY on Monday night! I am so excited to be home and spend time with my family and friends. It’s been 4½ months!

I am really happy here in France and so thankful to have this opportunity. It’s funny though, a question I get asked quite frequently is, “How does a girl from KY/WKU end up playing professional football in Yzeure, France?” I’ve grown to love this question because I love representing my home, and proving that this dream is attainable for the underdogs. Playing the underdog role has always been and continues to be a familiar and dangerous spot for me. So look out world… Oh and look out Kentucky ‘cause here I come!!!

Y’all have a Merry ChristmaHanaKwanzika and a Happy New Year!!!

Thanks for reading,

Libby

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Bonjour!!

Hi all! Sorry I have been M.I.A. I have had some difficulties with my wi-fi, but all is well.

Since my last post the team has gone 1-1. We beat Juvisy 1-0 at home in Yzeure, and lost in an away match yesterday afternoon against Guingamp, 2-0. Guingamp was a pretty, but long, eight hour bus ride, so we arrived back to Yzeure very early this morning. Our next game is on October 28th versus St. Etienne, so we have about 2 weeks until that time. It will be nice to have this weekend off and get some extra recovery time.

In the last couple of weeks I have met a few fellow Americans living here in Yzeure and Moulins. It has been great to meet new friends, especially English speaking ones, and I am happy to be making more connections with people around Europe.

Today I had my first French class, which went fairly well! Only the speaking of French was allowed, so a hefty price of one imaginary Euro was tallied on the board if another language was heard by the professor. However, I did my best to converse with the professor and read aloud to the class, even though I was risking the loss of my precious Monopoly money.. I will have this class about once a week, and look forward to learning the language.

Lately, I have been missing the fall season in Kentucky, but I am excited to say that one of my best friends from home will be visiting here in exactly two weeks! Countdown has been started.. 🙂

Thanks for reading and Take Care.

Libby

 

Octobre!

This weekend went extremely well! We stayed in a very nice hotel in Strasbourg, France, which is heavily influenced by its’ neighbor, Germany. It’s a historic city that is known to be the Christmas Capital, celebrating with festivals, concerts, and parades. The traveling experience was very similar to that of my experiences with WKU, basically just eat, sleep, and play soccer. The hotel served us our meals, which were really good I thought. We took familiar post meal walks, stretching our legs around the Strasbourg block.

As for the game, we won 4-1! Our forward, Laura Bouillot, was unstoppable and netted all four goals for us. I, for the second time this season, got scored on a late penalty kick that again robbed me of my first professional shutout! Ahh! But we played a good game and it was a really great win for us.

The team was understandably extremely excited about the win! The 6.5-hour drive home consisted of much song singing, hooting, and hollering. I was impressed by the amount of energy everyone had in them, as I, just a goalkeeper, was tuckered out and was ready for a nap.

But the drives to and fro were really beautiful, as the sun was setting behind the hills on both journeys. There were many little towns set off in the hills and every town had a similar looking and noticeable church that rose high above the homes. I also saw a lot of corn, vineyards, and many more of those peculiar white cows along the way.

I really can’t believe it is already October! This month, we play three tough matches, two at home and one away. I should also be booking my flight home for break, which will be from December 17th through January 2nd. Also looking forward to experiencing the French Halloween. Maybe I’ll dress up as the Hunchback of Notre Dame or fashion myself an Eiffel Tower costume… hmm suggestions are welcome. I either want it to be really French or really American, no middle ground.

Home match this Sunday, October 7, versus a strong Juvisy team! Hoping for a great week of preparation.

Take care,

Libby

Hidey Ho!

My apologies for the long time no talk! Internet has been less than desirable as of late, but I’m back in business at least for tonight!

Well we played a very tough Lyon team last weekend and took our first loss. I landed badly on my ankle around the 70th minute, and, despite my best efforts to tough it out, had to be substituted shortly after. So this week I have been focused on getting my ankle back into good enough health to play in our Sunday match against Vendenheim. I tested out the ankle tonight at training and everything went pretty great, so I’m confident I will be rip roarin’ and ready to go for the game!

The match will be our first away contest of the season and I’m looking forward to it! We’re leaving tomorrow around noon to begin our 7 hour journey up into the northeast of France, and staying in a hotel tomorrow night. I’m most interested to see how the traveling experience compares/contrasts to what I have been used to the last four years at WKU. Should be a blast nonetheless..

Today was an extremely exciting day because ladies and gents, I bought myself a geetar! I bought my first guitar, thanks to my Aunt Lisa, about 8 years ago, and it became a fantastic dust collector for the better part of 5 years. Then, my brother began wanting to learn, so the thought of him being better than me at something was enough motivation to get me to finally relent to dusting off the old ax. So four years ago we taught ourselves how to play. He, I swallow my pride to admit, is much better than I, but I’m fully content with my particular repertoire of simple 90’s hits, cowboy chord, camp fire, tunes.. I have really missed not being able to pick up a guitar, since playing for me has always relieved the stresses of the day and comforted my soul. It’s nice to feel the music again! Now to find a nice little street and a tin can to make some extra Euro change.. Ha!
Looking forward to a fun and productive weekend! Thanks for reading and I hope all is well.

Libby

Happy Dimanche!

Sitting here munchin’ on a baguette thinking about how proud I am to be an alum of Western Kentucky University! Soccer, volleyball, and football all got big wins yesterday. Us Tops can be tricky!! 😉

This week in European football we trained every day in preparation for our big game against Lyon on the 23rd (this coming Sunday). Lyon will be a tough opponent for us as the team contains about 9 French national team players. I’m excited and up for the challenge!! Throughout the last few weeks, I’ve been learning new techniques that are improving my game. It’s really cool to be at this level and still be learning and improving my skills as a goalkeeper… There’s always room for improvement!!

We had this weekend off, so on Saturday I went with a few teammates and checked out some museums and historic sites. Today, I’ve just been relaxing and cleaning a bit… This week I felt a little homesick for the first time, but my day out with friends yesterday was a good spirit booster. I really am enjoying my time here in France and look forward to a good week of training!

Thanks for readin’

Lib

Football Season Begins Tomorrow

Of course I realize American football season started last week (Congrats to the Tops and the Cards by the way!).. However, Day One of the Division 1 Football Feminine League is tomorrow!! We play at home, Stade de Bellevue, at 15h00 (3pm here) against Toulouse FC. Basically, the way the league works is that there are 12 teams. You play each team twice, once at home and once away. The season runs from September to the end of May (with a break for Christmas) so we play 2 or 3 matches per month. This schedule bodes well for the old bodies.. Lots of recovery time.

The men’s club, AS Yzeure, is only amateur, so we are the city’s big professional team. In the last few weeks, we’ve had several articles in the newspaper, as well as online and news broadcasts. There is a buzz about the town and the excitement level is on the rise!

I’m pumped to begin the season and just play the game of soccer. I feel strong, healthy, and prepared. Nothing beats the feeling of Game Day!

Thanks for reading!

Libby

This lengthy link will take you directly to our schedule: http://www.fff.fr/competitions/php/championnat/championnat_calendrier_resultat.php?cp_no=283603&ph_no=1&gp_no=&sa_no=2012&typ_rech=equipe&cl_no=33057&eq_no=1&type_match=deux&lieu_match=deux

A Little Ditty About Jack and Diane.. But Mostly Just Jack

I took a jog through the city the other day. When I finished outside of my apartment I was just stretching and taking my time. Beside me was this little five year old boy riding on his oversized bike. He took a quick glance over at me to make sure I was watching, gained a good amount of speed, and attempted to ramp up over the high curb.. Well, he didn’t quite make it, but he flew through the air with style (future goalkeeper maybe). I couldn’t help giving a laugh, but he quickly looked over (now hoping I wasn’t actually watching). I stopped laughing in case he might cry, but as he lay crumbled on the ground he flashed me an embarrassed little grin, brought himself to his feet, and reluctantly went to face the wrath of his angry older sister.

I just wanted to share this little story because it reminded me of the simple moments of childhood. That feeling when things don’t go quite the way you have them pictured, but no matter how badly you might fail, you’re still going to get up, face the music, and, ultimately, get back on the bike.

I saw him a few days later successfully master the curb. I was proud of the little French fry.

Back to the football tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Libs