Friday, February 29, 2008

Chalupny Wins Wally Ball

There was a lot happening at today's morning training. Part of the group did weight lifting and speed and agility training in the middle of the field, while some worked on finishing in small groups at the goals, then they switched. It was another beautiful sunny day in the Algarve and practice was high-paced. Kudos to goalkeeper coach Phil Wheddon, who had to step between the posts for many of the drills and made many a spectacular save during point-blank shooting drills that could have killed a mere mortal, or someone not quite as fit as big Phil. The training ended with asst. coach Erica Walsh setting up a "Wally Ball" tournament. The game involved several groups of five or six players hitting balls against a wall (there's a nice big one at the training field), in order and consecutively, but only getting one touch. The ball against the wall had to be hit inside a set of cones, both traveling to the wall and coming back off it. If you couldn't get it inside the cones on one touch, you got a letter. The first round was P.I.G., and the championship, consisting of all the winners from each of the groups, played for U.S. Lori Chalupny came out on top in the championship, defeating Cat Whitehill, who you may recall finished second in the USA's coin tossing the game on the day the team arrived. Cat did say, "never a bride, always a bridesmaid," but that doesn't really hold water as she was married in front of more than 1,000 people in Birmingham, Ala. on Dec. 31, 2005. She also won an Olympic gold medal and several NCAA titles. But as we know Cat doesn't like losing. Just the other day, she said, "the only time I ever cry is when I lose...or when a dog dies on TV." Anyway, congrats to Chalupa on her Wally Ball title!

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