I am super excited about life right now! Today’s game was our make it or break it moment with soccer. If we won, we would be Regional Champions, if we lost our season would be over. The game was against a team we had played twice in normal season. We managed to beat them once, but also had lost to them once. The pressure was on and honestly the game could have gone either way. Whoever won this game, not only got the regional champion title, but also get’s to go to Nationals. Nationals are held in New York this year! My little Canadian self has yet to go there, and would really like to go when it’s paid for!
After getting our pre-game speech and warming up, it was time to start the game. We dominated the pitch, moving the ball around, creating chances; sadly not finishing any of our chances in the first 45minutes. It doesn’t matter who has the ball the most in the game, it’s really about finishing your chances. If the other team managed to get a single shot off and use there chance to the best of there ability…we’d be screwed. Second half went better; I managed to get a shot off from about 35 out and score. It was with 20 minutes left, we were playing defensive, at least attempting too. Everyone was so nervous, so worried that it got to us and we had a wee bit of a screw up in the back. Our opponent came back with a goal with 10 minutes to go. Both teams were well “freaking out”. You could tell by the way everyone was playing, it was a mess out on the field, something we call Kick Ball…its not pretty!
With a tie at the end of the regular 90-minute game we went into golden goal. Golden goal, which is played in two ten-minute halves. If a team scores, it’s over. Next goal wins is pretty much the basis of the rule. Neither team managed to score in either of the 10 minutes given. Now it was up to penalty kicks; the goalie of each team faces off with 5 different players of the team. One shot at a time from about 10 or 15 yards out; to be honest I can’t remember the rule. Either way, each player is given the ball, they can place it on the spot indicated, and when the ref blows the whistle you can take your shot. These are the types of shots that are the hardest to stop for a goalie. They have to first of guess which side you’ll be shooting to, and even if they guess right, there reaction is going to have to be quick. Our coach picked 5 girls who she thought have the best penalty kicking skills, I was one of them.
First shooters; both shooters scored… tied 1-1
Second shooters; our goalie stopped the shot…we scored… we’re up 2-1
Third shooters; bother shooters scored….3-2
Fourth shooters; our goalie stopped the shot… now I was the fourth shooter for my team. If I scored, we didn’t have to go to the fifth shooter. I always do my penalty kick to the left of the net (goalies right). Our opponent’s goalie though wasn’t standing in the middle of the net, and she was getting a glove or at least real close on the past three shots. I was extremely nervous and didn’t want to get my shot stopped. I’ve never practiced going to the right like I’ve practiced going to the left. Honestly when I was setting up my ball on the spot, I didn’t even know which was I was going to shoot. My mind was going a mile a minute, contemplating. I took my 6 steps back, tapped my right toe against the ground, and tapped my left. (I seriously have a ritual I do before every free kick, penalty kick…the exact same steps and the exact same toe taps. Haha.) The ref blew the whistle; I stood there for probably 2-3 seconds before taking my run. Seriously, didn’t decide which way I was shooting until about 3 steps into my 6. I went to the right (goalies left)… the goalie dived the other way so there was no way she was getting it. We won Regional’s on that note and now we get to go to Nationals in New York. It was an extremely exciting day. I can’t wait to leave on Halloween for the 19-hour drive. I have no expectations for Nationals; of course I would love to win, but making it to nationals is an accomplishment in itself.
I will be missing a week of school though, so that should be interesting! Working hard this week to get ahead!