August 9, 2011

The Travel Experience of a Lifetime

The journey to arrive at our destination has been full of the unexpected. The Oberlin College men’s soccer team gathered in a timely fashion as usual readying for our campus departure. The busses would have pulled out on time had we not stopped three blocks into the trip to acquire the lone passport left behind. Once headed for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport everything is back on track.

Twenty-six through check-in and security went off without a hitch. Settled into our seats, the team is anxious to begin the trip to Rio. The first leg of the trip was scheduled from Cleveland to Charlotte, however, just a few drinks into the beverage service our airplane began to descend rather quickly and unexpectedly. A loss of cabin pressure forced the pilot to descend to an altitude suitable to the conditions within the plane. Pittsburgh became our new destination. The likelihood of making our international connection grew less and less as we were given vague update after vague update. Then just like that we were corralled back onto the plane and into our seats headed for Charlotte. The five hour lay over scheduled in Charlotte in our itinerary was now spent on the tarmac in Pittsburgh and just 2 hours in Charlotte.

US Air flight 800 boarding for Rio de Janeiro the anticipation of our arrival is palpable. The team is just an overnight flight from the warmth and sun of Brazil. This trip has been a long time coming, down payments, fundraising and finally settling the bill. Who wouldn’t want to stay just a few blocks from the beach, train in a country brimming with soccer culture and compete against some top quality sides? Take-off, dinner, in-flight movie, bouts of airplane sleep and then FOG! We were nearly there, breakfast had been served and eaten, the squad was stirring and the cabin was preparing for arrival when news of fog in and around Rio had shut the airport down. A 180 degree turn by the pilot and we were headed for Brasilia to refuel and wait out the fog. A minor detour and delay in the lengthy flight. Smoke in the cabin upon landing was a little disconcerting but the crew assured us everything would be sorted and our return to Rio would be imminent. Upon further inspection the ACU had failed, whatever that is, and the aircraft has been deemed useless.

What, Brasilia is not a US Airways airport? The Delta technician did his best I am sure but all 200 plus passengers were removed from the plane after two very long, hot hours waiting for something to happen or someone to make it happen. After being shepherded through immigration, again the team waited a good bit of time before a baggage carousel began to turn. No familiar bags coming round. Eventually after seeing the same twenty-five bags seventeen times finally an OC Soccer bag, then another and then all of our luggage.

The rebooking of 26 passengers on the same flight was not an easy task but the kind folks from TAM Airlines took over for the now useless people from US Air and made things happen for our team. Another wait and a departure delay didn’t dampen spirits and the team patiently waited for a 6:30 pm flight to depart and head to Rio. Take off, smooth; in-flight sandwich, good; landing, easy; finally Rio de Janeiro. What could possibly go wrong now? Imagine this picture… the team with all their bags and Head Coach, Blake New waiting for his bag as the carousel turns with not very many bags… then finally the blue duffle pops through. We load the bus, travel out of the city on we are finally on our way to Buzios.

We are in Buzios after traveling for nearly 36 hours. A restful night of sleep and we'll be ready to begin our trip in earnest.

August 7, 2011

Oberlin Vs. Brazil

The Oberlin College Men's Soccer team is traveling to Brazil for their 2011 preseason tour in an effort to prepare for the upcoming North Coast Athletic Conference season. It is said that in Brazil, every city has a church, a square and a soccer field. The sport is a national passion and is played in all corners of the country by all age groups. It does not matter the place - grass, sand, mud, asphalt -, all one needs is a ball to score a goal.

The team is just a day from our departure for the land of joga bonito and is putting in good time on the training field in preparation for the demands of playing against quality opposition. While spending time in the community of Buzios the Yeomen will find the opportunity to train alongside the local Buzios Soccer Club as well as test their abilities early in the trip with matches against the Under 20's as well as the first team. Following the team's stay in one of the world's most beautiful places we will transfer to Rio de Janeiro for the remainder of the tour. In Rio the team will enjoy accommodations just a few blocks from Copacabana Beach. Oberlin will square off against Botafogo's U-20's before concluding the trip with a match versus Portuguesa's reserve squad.

We hope that you will enjoy following our journey as we visit the land that has brought us the beautiful game. It is our goal to return to campus prepared to compete with a renewed vigor for the game. Check in with us from time to time for updates on the trip and throughout our regular season.

October 19, 2010

NCAC Week 1

Week 1 action had the Yeomen opening in the midweek with the Wooster Scots at Fred Shults Field and closing on the weekend with a trip to perennial power Ohio Wesleyan.

The home contest versus Wooster was one-way traffic for much of the first 80 minutes, but the advantages in possession and chances yielded only a 1-0 advantage, as Justin Griffiths created havoc for the Wooster rearguard with his 33rd minute cross that found its way to the back of the net. Then another pair defensive miscues nearly turned the game on its head in the final 10 minutes. Fortunately only one of the blushes was punished as Wooster sent the game to overtime. Where once again the Yeomen dominated much of the possession. The game-winner from Evan Atwell came five and half minutes into the overtime from a Oliver Miller-Farrell corner kick.

With the weekend came a road contest to #6 nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan. Ohio Wesleyan dominated much of the preceding and capitalized early with a goal in the 9th minute. The Yeomen held their ground, bouyed by Zach Lipshultz's top drawer performance. The Yeomen found chances on the counter and through set pieces. The equalizer would come from one such set piece. Wyatt Hayman flicked on a Joe Graybeal long throw in the 51st minute to Oliver Miller-Farrell who poked home his second tally of the year.

So the week ended fairly well, sitting middle of the table on 4 points with a few games in hand. Also Oliver Miller-Farrell earned NCAC player of the week honors for his crucial goal against Ohio Wesleyan and his assist on the game-winner versus Wooster.

Here are the recaps of the action from our opening conference week.

October 18, 2010

2010 Goals thus far

Here's a little retrospective before our big conference clash with Denison Wednesday.

September 30, 2010

Pink Jersey Auction

The Oberlin College Men's Soccer team lined up against Earlham College wearing pink OC uniforms this past weekend. The team donned the special uniforms to honor a member of our soccer family. Elizabeth Miller, mother of midfielder Oliver Miller-Farrell, passed away this past spring after a five-year battle with breast cancer. She was a leader in the fight against the disease and spoke at several conferences around the country to survivors and others battling breast cancer.

I got to know Elizabeth when we were recruiting Ollie and it was clear from the start that she was a dynamic person,” Head Coach Blake New said. “I would only see her occasionally, but when I did we had great, lively conversations and she was always concerned about others, but especially about her son. My two daughters were just instantly drawn to her, and each Parent's Weekend we would have to pry them off of Elizabeth's lap. She was a great person and so giving and loving, so we feel it is our duty to honor her by raising awareness of this disease that will affect all of us in our lifetimes."

We are raising money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and are asking $20 for a shirt. You can certainly donate more if you want, but $20 will get you a shirt! Email us at and let us know what number you want.

September 10, 2010

Oberlin v. Baldwin Wallace

We finished up the home stand on Tuesday versus another OAC opponent with Baldwin-Wallace visiting Fred Shults Field. The game had an ominous beginning when BW opened the scoring with a tap-in off a quick transition in the 7th minute. Despite the rest of the 1st half's numerous chances for both sides, the scoreline would remain 1-0 to BW at the half.

We made some tactical adjustments at the half and took the initiative early in the 2nd half. Our attack pressed forward and Matt Capozzi nearly opened his Oberlin account only to be denied for a corner. That corner would produce the equalizer when Alen Cisija's service bounced around in the penalty area and found Wyatt Hayman free to roof the ball into the net in the 53rd minute. However six minutes later BW would cash in on a scramble in front of goal from a set piece to go ahead 2-1. We continued to take the game to our opponents and Zach Lipshultz put in another good display with some key saves to keep the game at 2-1 but chasing the game again would catch up with us as we conceded a brace in the 83rd minute. Then with the game at 3-1 to BW, Justin Griffiths took advantage of a poor clearance and a wandering goalkeeper to put the scoreline at 3-2 in the 87th minute. Though the goal gave us a lifeline, the clock would run out on our comeback effort and we were left to regret our defensive miscues once again being on the wrong end of the scoreline.

Not much time to regroup before we head to Danville, Kentucky to face perennial powers Centre College and Transylvania University. We open with a stiff test Friday playing Centre in their home opener and on Saturday we meet Transylvania, a sweet 16 NCAA team from a year ago. We'll surely be tested but look forward to the challange.

Oberlin v. Capital

Our good start to the weekend and bright start to the game came apart in a matter of minutes against Capital on Sunday. We opened the game with a goal in just the 2nd minute from Oliver Miller-Farrell, who tucked away his first tally of the year after a Justin Griffiths through ball unlocked the Capital rearguard. However our bright start unraveled in the 30th minute when a defensive miscue gift-wrapped Capital an equalizer. Just a minute later another lapse saw us concede a second goal to Capital and the even contest now had momentum swinging against us. We went into the half confident we could recover from the one goal deficit. In the 2nd half we created chances and were buoyed by Zach Lipshultz's strong play between the sticks but we couldn't manage an equalizer, chasing the game eventually caught up to us and we conceded a 3rd goal in the 79th minute in transition. The game ended and we were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. We left feeling equal to our opponents but weren't nearly as sharp on the night, so we look forward to correcting some of the lapses and rebounding against BW on Tuesday.