Suzie Zigante's jersey for the Croatian National Team
Courtesy: UNC Asheville
Blog from Suzie Zigante - First Game & Making Friends
Courtesy: UNCABulldogs.com
Release: 08/05/2014
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Editor’s Note: Junior goalkeeper Suzie Zigante has been selected to play for the Croatian National Team when they participate in the Balaton Cup Women's International Tournament in Hungary in early August. She will send a blog periodically to tell of her experience playing for her national team.

 

 

So people who know me, know I am dork and perfectly OK with it. And today takes the cake of the stupid things that can only happen to Suzie Zigante. Let’s just laugh a little at my misfortune.



First, most of you know... I have chronic nose bleed syndrome. What is that? Who gets that? Well only me of course. I get bloody noses randomly for no reason at all at least twice randomly a month. So why would this month be different? Our beautiful white hotel sheets and pillows were all set for bed. As I almost fell asleep I felt it coming on and trying to be as quiet as possible to not wake up my roommate, I tried to grab a napkin near the bed. In doing so I made my IPod fall to the ground making a loud crack and then breaking my IPod. Cool! I have no idea if my roommate heard me or not, and I didn’t want to explain why I have a random bloody nose in the middle of the night so I turned as quickly as possible away from her sight and pretended I was asleep. I am definitely slick as you can tell (not).

 

So that was my night before the day and it’s a great set up really for what’s to come. The way I get around without knowing what my team is doing (the language barrier is so prevalent) is never making any move first, I watch what everyone else is doing, I stay under the radar. If someone gets up, I wait till two more people get up, if someone goes and gets food at dinner, I wait until three others do as well. It works for the most part. Until today against Slovakia!

 

First of all I am not starting the game, totally understandable. The other goalie speaks Croatian and has played for the first team numerous amount of times, why would you start me over her? There is no reason to. So we get to the locker room, and I did not know, but only the starting 11 go in there first so they have more room to change. I walk in all smiley and happy and they are politely telling me to get out. Oops! Did not know that rule. So I wait until they are done, but then the other goalie tells me I need to change quickly so I can warm her up. So... apparently I was supposed to change while they were changing. So now I am rapidly getting ready to warm up the starting keeper who is already dressed and out at the field. I sprint out to the field when I get my warm up gear on...leaving my national team jersey in the locker room...Of course! I didn’t know this was a problem at first, but it was. The starting 11 were getting ready to be on the pitch and I didn’t have my jersey, I run to the equipment manager and ask her for KLUTCH (key) loudly and she is like what?!

 

And then I try to explain to her and they said BURSO BURSO! (RUN RUN!) So now I am running back to the locker room I open this ancient door with an even more ancient key and grab my jersey. I get it quickly but now I have to lock the door. That door would not lock no matter what I was doing. I tried for what seemed like an eternity. I then asked some Hungarian officials to help me and they tried to no avail...Finally a man who was the coach of a team playing after us helped us and got the door to lock. At this point the national anthems are already being played and I am not even near the bench or field. The coach is looking to see where I am. Through a locked gate. The field I needed to be on was locked. I couldn't get in. So I am freaking out my first time being on the first team squad and I am locked out. A security officer finally let me in and I was in the gate after both anthems. The game had begun.

 

We lost 2-1 to Slovakia. We scored first and they scored quickly after, and they scored near the end. I didn't play which is totally understandable but I get to play the day after tomorrow against Romania and I am perfectly ok with that. I am just happy to have the chance to prove myself in 2 days.

 

So did you know the quickest way to make friends is to make fun of yourself? Well it is! And I may or not be an expert at that ;). We went to the lake and swam, then well you don’t sit on the sand, but if you are me you don’t think and you do anyway. I had sandy shorts. So they were like Suzie you have dirty shorts. And then I asked them how to say dirty butt. And they told me I can’t remember the words now, but I sang dirty butt and they all died. Coaches included. High fives were given. It was like my acceptance award. Pretty solid stuff.

 

So yes overall I am having a great time, I am so lucky to represent this country and happy to have these friends. Happy to go through these experiences and even though I make funny mistakes all the time, I am happy to be me.

 

Tomorrow we are taking a trip to Budapest. And we have training. The next day we play Romania, and I get my first start and game with the Croatian Women's A National team. So excited for what is to come! I posted a picture of my jersey and official badge of being in the tournament.

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