Interstellar Adventures

April 23, 2008

Future Professional Soccer Player

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 9:07 pm

Elle’s 13th soccer season (in less than 4 years, 15 if you count the club team as separate seasons) ended last night. Starting in Kindergarden, shortly after we moved here, we joined up and were placed on a team. When I bought her jersey, it came down to her wrists. She’s still wearing the same jersey. Only now it doesn’t even cover her elbows. She’s gone from staring at the ball before kicking the ball six inches to being a tough goalie that can punt the ball to midfield. Ever since she started soccer, when you ask her what she’s going to be when she grows up, she smiles and responds with “A Professional Soccer Player!”.

At the end of regular season play, we were second in the league. The first place team had only had two goals scored on them all season. We scored one of them. We had a first round bye, playing our first game Saturday in mid-80 degree temps and winning 2-0. Our second game Sunday went into OTs, with us prevailing 3-1. Last night it was the Championship Game for all the marbles. Against the Number 1 team.

Elle was in goal the entire game. Usually she’s 1st half goalie, 2nd half mid-fielder or forward. The first half proceeded with some very physical (too physical IMO) play from the other team. Elle was going to have a busy night. Save after save after save.

And then I jinxed it. Saying something to another parent about not making mistakes in the goalie box. A rogue bounce that resulted in a handball. Inside the penalty area. Resulting in a penalty kick. i.e. One on One. Elle blocked the shot, which then rebounded off the goal post and into the goal. 1-0.

Shortly thereafter, we got a breakaway and scored ourselves. Elle made more saves. I lost count. Then there was a very bad decisions to ‘clear’ the ball directly in front of the goal, which allowed the other team to score. A few minutes later, our defense wandered up to midfield while 2 opposing team members dribbled the ball in tandem toward Elle. Another bad deflection landed in the goal. 3-1 at the end of the first half.

She was greatly upset after the second goal. The third one put her over the edge. Elle was devastated. During the half I gave her a pep talk. She is a great goalie. No one else on the team was willing to take the position she was in. But she wasn’t alone. Her defense had to do their job too. And they hadn’t done their job in the first half. She had done her best, and now the rest of the team had to step up.

The second half started with us dominating the play. We had several scoring opportunities that just missed. And then I guess we just pooped out. After several more saves, the defense disappeared again and left Elle all alone. Another 2-on-1 situation resulted in the 4th and final goal.

After the game there was no consoling her. She felt she had let her team down. She took the entire loss onto her shoulders. All of her team mates hugged her, patted her on the back. Other parents hugged her and took the time to tell her how well she played. It was the hardest game all season. On our way home our coach called and gave her more reassurances. He told her there was no one else he would ever want in goal but her.

Second in the league isn’t bad. The girls played their hearts out and gave their best effort. And everyone has to learn to win and lose. Its part of life.

I think this is going to be the last season for our rec team. We’ve played non-stop soccer since the Fall of ’05, with a few short breaks in between. Last summer we started with the club team, which has practice 3 times per week, plus games. Adding in the rec league, we cut one club practice and attended rec practice, plus games. Last night we actually had a conflict with Finals for the rec team and Semi-Finals for the club team. Its getting to be too much for her and us. And after 3rd grade, it’s hard to find a rec team. Most kids decide to either go select or give it up.

Although its the end of one era, we started another, and will continue down that road.

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