Soccer season is in full bloom around these parts. My colt hasn’t even started high school yet – first day is next week – but he’s already played four junior varsity games, committed a fairly flagrant – but uncalled – tripping penalty in the box, and been knocked to the ground with a two-handed shove WWE-style by a frustrated forward. There’s been a severe verbal altercation between warring school tribes in the stands enough to bring security over. And a rousing victory with a goal scored with one second on the clock! The season is off and rolling.
And he hasn’t even begun to play with his eyes open yet…
Meanwhile, my cantankerous filly started her season with tournament play. And a new position. To take advantage of her speed and aggressiveness, she’s been moved from center midfielder to striker. Since her favorite Team USA players are AbbyWambach and Alex Morgan, both strikers, this fits nicely.
After a lethargic 4-0 loss in game 1, the team destroyed the tourney’s hometown club 11-1. Proving once again (are you listening Mrs. Nitmos?) that size DOESN'T matter, here's an image captured of our team competing - and destroying - the slow, lumbering Jolly Green Giants:
|Her head wouldn't fit in the frame.|
Then they took down a previously undefeated squad 2-1 to march their way into the finals for a rematch with the team they lost to in game 1.
She was up for the rematch. Ninety degree heat be damned…
It was a battle. She was literally physically tackled twice as she continually split the defense with her speed and the opposing team was left to trip and grab to prevent a run at the goal. A 1-0 lead evaporated to a 1-1 tie. Outside of a 3 minute rest break in the first half (30 minute halves), the filly never left the field and repeatedly pounded away at the opposing teams D but just could not break through with a goal. The opposing goalie made a jumping two handed save to stop her 15 yard blast with about 8 minutes remaining. A game saver, as it turned out.
The perpetual in game scowl….
A regulation tie led to a ten minute overtime. In 90 degree heat.
The teams remained tied. Unbelievably, the ref blew the whistle to end overtime as my filly stood alone with the ball at her feet 20 feet from the goal. No breakaway continuation, ref?? Seriously?? Onto a shootout.
Which was lost 3-2. The team has finished runner-up in three consecutive tournaments.
I’ve won a few race day age group awards in my time. Whether it’s 1st or 5th, I have no problems celebrating the award, caressing it, being slightly unnatural with it, lording it over everyone’s head and just generally being obnoxious. This, truly, is the Nitmos Way you all know and love. But, for my filly, anything less than first never seems to be good enough.
She grumbled and pouted for half the drive home. And then, from the backseat, we heard her exhale and sarcastically mutter, “I can’t wait to finish second again in the next tournament.”
Suddenly, my age group 2nd place coffee mug doesn’t seem so cool anymore.
Filly’s totals = 7 goals (of team’s 14) in four games, two crossbars, and one accusation from an opposing player’s mom of “choking her daughter”. Good times, good times.
17 miles on deck this Sunday along the Leelanau Trail. Nice!