Wednesday, November 28, 2012

US Women's National Team vs. Ireland

On Wednesday I had a big surprise planned for Emily.  I had heard a month ago about the Women’s Gold Medal Team coming to Portland to play Ireland.  It was a friendly match I believe that didn’t count towards any Cup or League but I figured Emily would really like to see it in the small Timbers Jeld-Wen stadium.  

I had sent an email out to friends so Scott, Amanda and Colin and Holm all told me to buy some tickets for them as well.  They all thought it must be her birthday or a Christmas present but really it’s just because she’s the best part of my life.  I emailed a bunch more people but with the steep price of the tickets and the drive to Portland on a Wednesday a bunch bailed on the idea.

I was able to jump on an early Visa pre-sale and score some 3rd row tickets just to the side of midfield.  While buying the tickets Russ came by and joked about me mapping a stadium... but when he heard what I was buying asked me to jot a note down for him as well.  Little did I know that Matt would also be attending with his children.  I was super excited about it and only told Emily that she had a big surprise coming at the end of the month after Thanksgiving.

On game day she still had no idea what was planned and was even more confused that I had talked to her co-workers to make sure she wasn’t working in Corvallis that day.  She was able to get out of work a bit early and meet me downtown.  Even more surprised when we walked into a parking garage to meet our friends who had driven up from Corvallis.  

All made good timing with the traffic and we were able to make our way to the stadium and take our seats just before kickoff, passing Matt and his kids inside on the way.   Emily didn’t have any clue until we were just outside the Stadium what we were going to do for the night.  

The game was a blast.  Colin had brought noise makers, a gorilla mask, glow sticks and face paint..we only used the noise makers and mine was broken making dying animal noises much to the amusement of everyone around me.  We grabbed beers, nachos and bags of popcorn and enjoyed a tight game in the first half.  

We even managed to be sitting about 2 feet behind the falling rain at one point because we were just underneath the awning far above us.  In the 2nd half the game really took off with Alex Morgan (my new athlete crush) scoring a hat trick of three goals.  Hope Solo, despite the rough shape she was in, played the first half of the game in goal.  and Abby Waumbek was there too.  

It was great to see how close all the girls on the team were to each other with Rapinoe always being the first one to jump in the air and hug anyone who scored.  When the score reached 4-0 all the big name players came out allowing the backups and 2nd strings athletes to get some time in.  After the game the Alex Morgan addressed the crowd facing us and all the girls took a victory lap around the field.  

We all then walked downtown to Sizzle Pie for some slices and a beer before parting ways.  Although it certainly was a bit expensive where we sat, I was very happy that our friends could join us and Emily was clearly surprised and happy to have gone to the game and sat so close.  I also, as you can see got some pretty great shots with the long lens of our camera.  Only downside is not winning the half billion dollar jackpot of the lottery that I had bought tickets for. :)

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