Kyle Nakazawa, Overcoming Adversity

This is Kyle’s fourth post:
I’m sure almost everyone is aware we suffered a very disappointing 3-0 loss last weekend against Cal State Northridge.

There were many negative aspects of the game we played, so it was very difficult for us to gather anything positive from the experience. However, like every team in the world, we experience triumphant wins as well as disappointing losses. It’s how you bounce back from those setbacks that really defines a team.

With dampened spirits, we went into several days of training looking forward to Tuesday’s San Diego game.

After our last practice before the USD game we came together as a team. We discussed the negative outcome of the Northridge game, how disappointing it was and how important it was for us to get a result in the next game. The only way we would be able to accomplish that goal, we said, was to have every single player on our team in the exact same mindset, that no matter what obstacles we faced as a team every individual player would support each other. With that focus, we all went into the game determined to win.

The San Diego game marked the first at home since the start of the fall quarter.

So with a lively crowd behind us, we stepped onto the field with adrenaline and excitement dripping from our sweat. We ended up winning the game 1-0 on a David Estrada goal in the first half.

However, what was most impressive was how every player on the team supported each other. Whether it was the guys standing on the sideline cheering words of encouragement or the guys on the field battling for every ball, it was apparent that everyone on the team had the same focus and mindset for the game. It all showed in our performance as a team and the great result.

The loss to Northridge served not only as a learning experience but also as a real gut check. It showed what kind of team we really are here at UCLA. If we can experience such a disappointing result and then bounce back the next game to pull off a remarkable win, then we can overcome any obstacle as a team.

Go Bruins!

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!