Jillian Loyden, 26, of Vineland is a backup goalkeeper for the U.S. soccer team playing in the Women's World Cup tournament in Germany. She was The Press Girls Soccer Player of the Year in 2002 for Vineland High School.
She is filing periodic updates for The Press during the World Cup.
To view Loyden's previous submissions, go to our website at:
Yeah, we didn't finish top of the group like many had expected, but we still have life going forward. We still have another game. Another chance. Another opportunity to make the best of.
The game was a series of unfortunate events. Crossbars. Shots that miss by inches. A penalty kick against. A strange bounce off a free kick.
It was unlucky. An inch here, an inch there it could have been a different game.
But at the end of the day we still lost to Sweden 2-1 (on Wednesday) and finished second in our group play.
One might think that our tournament is over. That we have no chance now that we lost. That there is no way to bounce back from that emotional high of a game.
Well, they would be wrong. Straight away after the game, our coach, Pia Sundhage, brought us in together and gave a speech that fired us up and inspired us. She gave us hope. A new outlook. New life in this tournament.
We have moved on from that last game and we are focused on nothing but Brazil. We traveled back to Dresden (on Thursday) where the quaterfinal round will take place.
We had training, team dinner, and then we watched clips from the last game. We saw some good things and some things that we can improve.
The attitude leaving the meeting was very good.
This team is resilient and will show that on Sunday night against Brazil.