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Coach Flip Naumburg's Journal
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I didn’t expect to slam Boston College on the scoreboard yesterday. I’m sure there is buzz around the MCLA that we (CSU) can be had or whatever, but this (the true current level of our 2008 team) is no news flash to me. Going into the game I had my thoughts about if we could win the game at all, let alone make the score look nice or look the way it was somehow ‘supposed’ to because we are #2 and they are # 12 or whatever. At the same time the game itself gave me some good energy and thoughts about where we can get to with some more minor adjustments here, a little time to get better at certain stuff there, and then using each day as a way to become closer in that family unit way I want so much. Close family groups motivate and self-motivate really well, and with us (2008 CSU lax) being so short on team experience and time spent together, that makes every day have great potential for us in the area of team strides. Also, as much as I talk about practice, you do practice in order to play games, so having them (games) can give you valuable things that can lead to team wisdom. This is true even if this stretch of season here is a ‘survival’ sort of thing for us with three games on three successive days. No other team here is doing that except for B.C. and their schedule is even tougher than ours.
CHRIS JENKINS MEMORIAL
I am semi-selling this three pack as a tournament, as in we won the first round game and now we are in the semi-finals of this Chris Jenkins Memorial Tournament against the home town Golden Gophers. And by the way, this is a really nice little event that the home team has put together, and I appreciate the opportunity to play 3 good teams in one quick trip.
SCOUT ME SCOTTY
They (UM) got to sit and watch us yesterday, too, and I’m sure seeing us can definitely help you with us. We are pretty basic in the way we do things, so seeing us play will tell you a lot in a scouting way. I know that sounds obvious, but I think it has not been always true with all of my teams. Many times with us what you may have seen ahead of time may not have been that much like what you would get on game day.
Today is pretty much an exercise in team time killing. That is the nature of the beast (traveling). I do not ‘control’ every minute that we are on the road as it is. Today is difficult because we had an early game yesterday and we have a night game tonight. The down time is a little extra long between game one and game two, and meanwhile we have no place to practice because this Minnesota in the winter. I would have given anything to have booked and planned a practice while we were in town, but I guess I was too busy worrying about coming here in the first place. Anyway we broke the day up with a parking lot stretch during the best part of a sub-freezing-was-the-high day here at the hotel and surrounding streets, wherever snow wasn’t in some minor or major pile.
It was pleasant enough outside in the lot, but now we still have three more hours to kill, to prepare for tonight in a good way, because it (killing time) doesn’t necessarily happen that way for a team on its own. I tried to offer several of them some significant food for thought that hopefully they will be able to digest over the next few hours, and perhaps in one or two cases it will actively fill that block of time which is now.
TIME TO MUSE ON A SATURDAY
There always has been sort of a ‘pecking order’ in our MCLA, USLIA, etc. deal, but that is rapidly disappearing as new teams step up. Oregon was last year’s ‘Cinderella’ breakthrough team and I am sure they are not just a one-hit wonder. They have a program going, as does the emerging Chapman College of California. They stepped up and beat BYU recently, and that is no small feat as far as I am concerned. We remain #2, and someone will have to hang me by my thumbs before I would vote us #1 in the next poll. Michigan now looks like #1 from my vantage point. We have Texas next Tuesday in Fort Collins. I wonder how good they are.
ONE MORE CAMPUS TO SEE
By the way, the University of Minnesota is in fact an interesting campus. It has a very urban feel to it as it is part of what I would describe as a cityscape kind of layout. It’s kind of cool. I like to ponder all the universities I have visited over my coaching years. I definitely consider that part to be a ‘perk’ to the ‘job’ I have.
CSU 12 UNIVERSITY MINNESOTA 3
We played a pretty good game, but we still had time lapses when we didn’t play that well. We got off to a decent start, however, and we actually led 8-0 at the break, but the first six goals or so came quickly, and then the Gophers started to get some good action going. Although they never really got in the game, they definitely got better as the game went on. It was a competitive game. We also got all of our 45 or whatever on the roster into the game.
I did something I haven’t done in maybe 15 years. When we scored the fourth goal to go up 4-0 I called a timeout, which might be the opposite of what one might think the coach should do. Usually the other coach would call for time in that kind of situation. I pre-planned doing this and I did it because I wanted to motivate them at exactly that time to continue the process, step on their necks, whatever gets the point across that a team can never let down their guard because the other team practices and wants to win, too. I cannot really say what the results were, but we did continue to build on the four goal lead. By the same token, UM did got a hold of themselves, and they had a little run late in the game that definitely got my attention and it got the starters back in the game, too.
After our game I watched a little of UMD, tomorrow’s opponent as they played B.C. The Bulldogs from Duluth were on top 7-5 at the half after trailing 4-1 in the first quarter.
Minnesota Duluth fans were busy coming by and warning us about what a long day we will have tomorrow in that upcoming game. Well, whatever, we will go out there at 12:45 to play them anyway and even though we apparently will have no chance against this very good and mature team I’m going to tell my team that they do (have a chance).
We will take the underdog/don’t give them certain things and we will be okay role and that will be my message, too. I made everyone stop watching the Duluth vs. BC game by the half because basically I wanted them to come home (hotel) and go to bed. Sometimes I don't like it when my teams watch teams they are about to play either, but that is a subject for another time.
That third game in a row is always a killer and UMD will just have played only the one, albeit late and against a tough BC opponent. I know it will be tough for both sides.
I truly believe we have made giant strides as a team in these first two days. That won’t change no matter what happens tomorrow, although I do have some expectations. They just aren’t huge…….yet.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER
My brother Steve would have turned 61 today. It is perhaps not that strange that only two of my original nuclear family of 5 remain on planet earth here in 2008. If you had said there would be but two, my sister would have been the #1 choice as a survivor, because she is more than a survivor. She is one of the ones that endure and thrive almost better as life goes on. The surprise would be that I be one of the two still left. We miss you, Steve.