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    Thoughts from Katie: The 'Cats are Back!

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    After a week of practice, the Northwestern women's soccer team has the first athletic event of the 2013-14 season, hosting an exhibition contest Wednesday at Lakeside Field vs. crosstown rival DePaul. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. and admission is FREE so swing by scenic Lakeside to get your first glimpse of the 2013 NU women's soccer team!

    If you can't make it to Wednesday's match, follow along via Twitter updates from @NU_SportsLIVE or Gametracker will have live stats.

    Now a junior on the women's soccer team, Katie Landgrebe will give fans an inside look into the program with her blogs. In her first blog of the 2013 campaign, Katie gives a glimpse into what preseason training is like for the 'Cats and fills fans in on the proper "lingo".

    By Katie Landgrebe

    Preseason Update
    The 'Cats are back on campus and getting ready for the 2013 season! Wherever it was we all spent our summers, there's always a lot of excitement (and a few nerves) involved with heading back to Evanston and beginning our preparation for our fall season. After the first few days of preseason, the initial nerves have worn off and there's a ton of expectation and excitement building about playing our home-opener in less than two weeks! (Mark your calendars...Aug. 23 vs. Western Illinois at Lakeside)

    That said, preseason is a special time as our team spends an inordinate amount of time together and works extremely hard in practices and meetings to get ready for the season. I thought I would give you a crash course in preseason lingo as it is really a very unique vernacular. So hang with me here, friends...

    Common Preseason terms:
    Ice bath:
    The collective enduring of a 10 minute, 50 degree plunge into a cold tub with nine of your teammates. Most often performed after practice or games, up to twice a day during preseason. Despite how miserable it sounds, these help muscle soreness and are the origin of lots of funny stories and memories.

    Team meal: A mad dash, frenzied stampede to get to the locker room to enjoy (or more often, devour) whatever food the extremely generous and patient coaching staff has provided to help us replenish our bodies before and after training sessions. It's best to prepare yourself not to get offended when people lose their cool over the last bite of the favorite pasta or salad, as everyone is just as hungry as you.

    Post-training foam roll: The use of a foot long, hard foam roller to massage and roll out muscles after a training session. Usually led by our also extremely generous and patient trainer, D, this exercise is normally accompanied by collective groans of pain and exclamations of, "ahh, that feels good."

    Laundry loop: The ingenious device that allows all of our practice gear and sweaty clothing to be laundered by our, again, extremely generous and patient equipment manager, Liz. With laundry being done more than twice a day, laundry loops help us all to look spiffy and smell acceptable when we head out to training (afterwards is a different story.)

    GGB (green Gatorade bottle): This abbreviation for our Gatorade water bottles, issued to everyone on the team, is thrown around a lot during preseason because in all honesty, this trusty water bottle should always be by your side. Whether walking to practice, napping between training sessions, or driving in your car, your hydration success depends on the proximity of your GGB (or other water bottle of your choosing.)

    Phrases commonly heard during preseason:

    "Ahhhh!" "Too cold!" "Start the timer!" "Just get through the first two minutes and you'll be ok!" "Is it extra cold today?? It's definitely colder today."--The collective sounds of ice bath-ing.

    "I'm about to nap so hard."--Heard after morning sessions where there is a time gap large enough to take a nap before the next meeting or training.

    "Are you hungry? I'm hungry." "How long has it been since I last ate, an hour? Yeah definitely time for more food."--No explanation needed.

    We'd love for you to follow along as we continue with preseason and preparations for our first exhibition (Wednesday, against DePaul) and first regular season game (August 23, against Western Illinois). All this to say, we have a great time during preseason and always come out on the other side with more stories to share and a stronger bond as a team. Thanks for joining with us! Go 'Cats!

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