Monday, May 07, 2007

Nemesis Confrontation

My daughter's soccer team had their last game of the season on Saturday. It was against the team that happened to be the first team they played last season. That game included lots of poor sportsmanship on the part of the other team. Name calling, pushing, hitting, scratching, and hair pulling. It was the worst I've ever seen in any sport at any level.
For a newly formed team of girls, many of which had never played competitive sports before it left an imprint. None of our girls had forgotten this team. So entering into this last game there was lots of excitement to finally face them again. My own daughter has been obsessed with this game for two months now. So, it was a mixed feeling of excitement and trepidation when they finally took the field.

It was a good game from start to finish. We had the first foul called on us as one of our girls showed one of their girls to the ground very quickly. It wasn't dirty and I don't think should have been called, but it did set the tone that we weren't going to be pushed around this time. The other team scored first thanks to a run by a very speedy girl, but our team didn't give up and scored the next two goals. One of our goals was by a girl that hadn't scored all season. I was thrilled to see her score, because I had been telling her parents all season that she had the skill to do it. In the second half she scored again and she was all a glow.

Our opposition almost immediately answered and tied the game up. It was back and forth with both teams having some opportunities and we went into the final quarter of play up 5-4.

I was tense as I needed to shift some girls around to make sure they all got equal playing time. My daughter finally scored the game clinching goal with a few minutes left to play. She was great and really fun to watch that day, because she was not going to be denied. In that last quarter she was our entire offense. Every time that we had the ball on their end was because she got it down there. I've said several times that she is not the fastest or strongest girl out there. She does it on sheer force of will. It's really cool. There were times where she would have three opponents grabbing and kicking at her and she would still progress the ball down field. She finally got a one on one opportunity with their best defender. As soon as I saw the defender stand back to try to block the shot, I knew it was going in. I would have bet money on it. Finally my daughter had what she had wanted ever since their first game against each other last season. She had slayed that dragon.