By Dexter McMillan

From the moment she wakes up until after the last whistle, game day for Sara Wicks is built around rituals. Wicks is the starting goalkeeper for the Carleton Ravens women's soccer team. She has played soccer for most of her life: at prep school in Minnesota, then for Jacksonville University in Florida, before coming to Carleton to play for the Ravens.

This Sunday's 1 p.m. match preparations begin well before 10 a.m.

Three hours before kick-off, Wicks applies makeup in her bathroom mirror at home. Game days start slowly for Wicks, but there's lots to be done before she even leaves the house. After breakfast and coffee, it's time for warpaint. "Look good, feel good, play good," says Wicks.

Two and a half hours before kick-off, Wicks hypes up with a combination of Starbucks coffee and US women's national soccer team videos. This is routine for the Raven's goalkeeper on game day after a light breakfast, typically just a piece of toast.

Wicks relaxes in her bedroom, watching soccer videos on Youtube while she finishes her coffee.

Two hours before kick-off, Wicks arrives at the Carleton's Athletics building and walks to the locker room. The room is strictly off limits to non-players as the team dresses, reviews the game plan and hypes themselves up.

One hour and forty-five minutes before kick-off, Wicks has her elbow taped by a trainer to protect a sprained ligament from August. She leaves the locker room for only a few minutes to see training staff before returning to get ready with the team.

MNP Park at Carleton University, where the Carleton Ravens soccer team plays their home games.

Forty-five minutes before kick-off, Wicks shouts "Keeper!" as she leaps for a ball that goalkeeper coach Aaron Falsetto tosses at the net where she stands sentinel. All players take the field to run a variety of drills with the coaching staff separately based on their position before coming together as a team for sprints.

Ten minutes before kick-off, Wicks and her team line up to be introduced for the national anthem. From left: Sarah Zutrauen, Sara Wicks, Sabrina Hammada, Ghalia Hammada and Michelle Wilson look on as they wait to be introduced.

One minute before kick-off, Wicks listens intently in huddle as a teammate runs through the game plan one last time. Huddles are an important part of preparing for the game, and ensure sharp focus and a coordinated effort among players.

Thirty minutes after kick-off, Wicks reaches up for a save against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Wicks's entire morning routine has lead up to this, and it keeps her locked in for the entire ninety minute match. Although she is rarely tested, she makes a few important saves to keep the match 0-0, a score that will hold as final.

Two hours and fifteen minutes after kick-off, Wicks takes several minutes to cool down, stretch and use foam rollers to relax tightened muscles after the game. The atmosphere is tense and emotional after some contentious calls from the referee and an injury to a Ravens player, but Wicks is happy with her team's effort as they retire back to the locker room and head home for the evening.

More Photos

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.