Now it's time for our exciting weekly soccer byplay. I am not being facetious this time; it was totally heart-pounding, especially during the quarter that my daughter played goalie.
At halftime, the score was 0-1. The other team had a couple of giant-sized players which really makes a big difference. We had gotten in the goal area a couple of times only to be disappointed because their defense was impenetrable. As I walked around passing out the halftime snack, I told our two top offense players, "okay, get us a point, just one point." Great going, Pam, way to send the message that winning is not everything. Just in case that screaming parents on the sidelines isn't enough pressure.
During the 3rd quarter, the ball flew into the air. Jasmine put her arms up to block her face, and the ball hit her and knocked her to the ground. There was a momentary pause, and then she got up covering her eye. The opposing team stole the ball, and the game went on. Except it didn't for our girls. Our girls saw Jasmine cry, so they all huddled around her comforting her, even my daughter who jogged down from the other half of the field while I screamed at her,"What are you doing? Go back! She's fine! Your area is undefended!" She didn't listen to me, which was good now in hindsight, as I had become one of those parents. The other team scored a goal in all the ruckus. It was an easy score for them; our lone and and confused goalie didn't stand a chance.
The goal counted. Everyone was mad. One dad wanted to go out and give it to the ref. Our coach had to hold him back. Even he, who is pretty unflappable, tossed his clipboard with his game plays to the ground. Everyone on the sidelines was skewing the ref except for me. Because my husband is also a ref, I felt compelled to justify the ref's actions amidst a group of angry parents. Yeah, I was on a roll that game, wasn't I? My opinion is that he was fed up with all our "injuries." One of our offense players is somewhat of a drama queen. She's one of our star players, but she sits on the ground every time she falls down. The first quarter, the game paused 3 times just for her. So the ref might have been suspicious, except he should have noticed it was a different girl and that our entire team was leaving their positions.
The score was 0-2 going into the 4th quarter. Mentally we parents checked off another loss and prepared to console the girls. I thought, no way that defense would let us score 2 goals in less than 10 minutes when they haven't let us in 30 minutes. 5 minutes left on the clock. Our four offense players set up an intricate play outside their goal. Pass to one, then another, pass back, bounce off someone's shins, get the ball back, pass to one, then another, then in all the jumble of legs, BOOM, it goes into the goal! Yay! Clap! At least we won't go home scoreless.
2 minutes left on the clock. Another play set up by our team outside their goal. Is it possible? Do we have a chance to tie? The entire opposing team is all over our 4 girls. Our girls are spreading themselves out, trying to make themselves available, trying to fight off 7 good players. The soccer pinball starts: bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce. IT GOES IN! I jump up and scream at the top of my lungs. The other parents are all cheering and jumping. The baby, who I had to put down, is staring at me like I've gone insane. And I had.
One minute later, the game ended. To us, it was a victory, and we celebrated like it was. Some of our parents thought that one goal by the opposing team during the 3rd quarter shouldn't have counted so the "real" score was 2-1. I didn't care; 2-2 was a real triumph for us.
I am so proud of our girls. We parents really could learn a thing or two from these 7 year olds. (1) Always stand by your teammate. Winning is less important than a teammate's well-being. (2) Don't get discouraged even when you're losing. (3) Fight till the very end, though tired and pressured you may be.
Next week, I'll just post the entire video of the coming game.