Cooking up a College Cup: Women's Soccer Thanksgiving
Courtney Owen

Nov. 27, 2011

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Defender Courtney Owen wrote this diary entry for

My name is Courtney Owen and I am a sophomore defender at Wake Forest University. We have had a great regular season and have continued to do well in the post season. The NCAA's so far have been a lot of fun for all of us and we have been playing some of our best soccer. Every game has given us another chance to prove that we can compete as one of the top teams in the country. We are very excited to be this far, but we aren't content with ending our season here.

We were asked to discuss what we were thankful for, and that got us thinking, there are so many things we are thankful for: food, soccer, sleep, free time. But then I thought, besides all those things there are so many people who have helped us get to where we are today, and without them we wouldn't be as good as we are. We are so thankful for the Wake Forest community, students, and teachers who support us on and off the field. And of course all our fellow athletes who come to all our games and make it miserable for other teams with all their cheering. We are also thankful for all the alumni and trustees of Wake Forest who provide us with the opportunity to go out and play the sport we love every day. We are thankful for the Athletic Department, equipment staff and managers (Kahlie, Lauren, Gersen and Jeremy) and our weight training staff, Kelly Zarski, Bearded Brian, Chris and Dave. We are thankful for all the athletic trainers who allow us to be in the training room even though sometimes we are a little loud, and especially our own athletic trainer Heather Wong. We are thankful for media relations and Alex Botoman who "twitterbombs" our every move and our academic advisors, especially Sherry Long. And last but not least we are thankful for our coaches Tony da Luz, Tim Santoro, and Megan Jessee, who devote a lot of their time to our success and have to put up with us and our pranks on a daily basis.

This year for Thanksgiving we were also thankful because we went to our head coach, Tony da Luz's, house. He, his wife and son graciously invited us to crash their house for a festive dinner, although afterwards they might have regretted ever letting 30 people into their home. We were all excited for what we thought was going to be a great feast until we found out we had to make our own side dishes for dinner. It's safe to say that we were no longer too thrilled.

However, it turns out that it is easy to convince 26 competitive Division I athletes to cook dinner simply by putting them into teams and telling them that the winner gets a prize. And that is how the First Annual Wake Forest Iron Chef Competition began. Teams set, groceries bought, and 2 hours to prepare for dinner - it was mass chaos. And with 30 minutes left until dinner it seemed like there might not actually be food, considering that the stuffing had ended up on the floor the night before, and the mashed potatoes were, well, interesting to say the least. However, since we had become master chefs overnight, we all came through and everything was perfect, especially the green bean casserole if I do say so myself. And after dinner and a few people's afternoon snoozes, the judges convened and gave first prize to the sweet potato casserole team. Although the judges were biased and there was clearly some bribery going on since the green bean casserole did not win, it was a great first Iron Chef Competition, and hopefully a tradition that we can continue on into the future.



Tennis Champions