Coach says: Perfect Practice makes??
Coach Mike .... aka .... YEAH YEAH YEAH
The 2011, outdoor soccer season has almost come to an end, and it’s been a great season. This past weekend the Waterloo Warriors U13 girls played two of their BEST games of soccer all season long, to earn themselves a spot in this coming weekends YOUTH CUP FINALS!!! The first game of the day on Saturday, the Warriors were faced with one of their nemesis teams from league play this season, Woolwich, out of three games played against them they had a win, a tie and a loss. So we knew that depending on “what team” showed up to play Saturday morning, would determine the outcome of the game. LOL!! Not that the girls don’t always try hard, but some games, the true WARRIORS show up, while others, they are sleepy Warriors or distracted Warriors!! Or simply 13 year old girls!! HA!!! Much to the dismay of the coaching staff and parents alike, however, they typically manage to come off the field laughing, in spite of anxious coaches or screaming parents!! So really, they have it figured out, it’s for the love of the game, the end result doesn’t matter quite as much to them. Thankfully, they also LOVE to win, so they do show up as WARRIORS more than not!! The true WARRIORS showed up to play the first game of the day (this is a knock out cup), you lose you go home!! They battled hard and scored first, which is typically unusual for them, however Woolwich managed to tie it up before half time!! Ugh, a scary game at this point, because no game ends in a tie, all games must have a WINNER. As the mother of a keeper, this is awful, especially when there are two keepers on the team, and guess who was going in net for the second half of the game!! Eeeksss … Danielle!! After a pep talk from the coaches at half time – the Warriors hit the field fighting right off the whistle in the 2nd half. They battled hard all the way to the final whistle, game ending in a 4-1 WIN for the WARRIORS!!
YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!
We had time to feed our players, re-hydrate them, watch another game, and then it was our turn to hit the field for the second game of the day. Still in complete DO OR DIE mode, the Warriors took the field against yet another nemesis from their league play, STRATFORD!!! We held the same record with them a win, a tie, and a loss, this was a MUST WIN situation. For Danielle, this was the biggest game of the season for her, playing her old teammates, in the Cup Round. Let me set the stage for you, the Warriors had already played a game, because it’s a 7 team division, Stratford, received the “bye”, so this was their first game of the day. One would think that, this would give Stratford a slight upper hand, in the game situation, however, the WARRIORS truly took on their name and rose to the occasion. Emily, was in net for the first half of the game again, causing me, with my newly dyed hair to cover the gray, to sprout a few new grey hair’s because this now means, that Danielle, will be in net for the 2nd half of the game, with the possibility of overtime and penalty shots. Both teams battled extremely hard throughout the first half, which ended in a 0-0 tie!!!
I can’t lie, the knot in my stomach was getting bigger and bigger as each minute of the 2nd half remained scoreless. I started having flashbacks to last seasons Cup game (when Danielle still played for Stratford), they were playing Kitchener, and the game ended in a tie, went to overtime, ended in a tie again, and then went to penalty shots. They lost in the shoot out, with none of her team-mates offering her any condolences, a hug, nothing after the game was through. It was a hard game to watch, and I was dreading that the potential for a similar situation was brewing, with each passing minute of the scoreless 2nd half. The half came to an end, at a 0-0 tie again, now moving onto 2 – 10 minute overtime halves, NOT golden goal, meaning they had to play them out in their entirety. Again, ending in a 0-0 tie, so it was ONTO PENALTY shots!!! I am do NOT deal well with PK’s, actually, I start to cry as soon as I know it’s coming down to that!! LOL!! Yeah big tough me = MARSHMALLOW, when my baby is in the line of fire like that.
Danielle however, manages to somehow remain as cool as a cucumber, even though I like to call her Nervous Nellie, she gives off the appearance of 100% confidence. The Warriors took the first shot in the shoot out, GOAL!!!!! Now, it’s Stratford’s turn, Danielle takes her position, stares down her opponet, OVER THE NET!! Warriors up again, GOAL!!!! Stratford, WIDE MISSED THE NET!!! Warriors 3rd shooter, DANIELLE, I really wanted to run and hide at this point, typically a goalie doesn’t shoot at this age, but she has a great shot, GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Danielle walks back to the net to set up for the 3rd shot, but before hand, reaches her hand out to the Stratford Keeper, and helps her up, gives her a pat on the back. TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP, I was NEVER so proud of my girl. The goal was beautiful, but the actions afterwards, were REMARKABLE!!! Not only did she give the keeper something to remember, she also proved to her old teammates, that she left for the love of the game, not for any hard feelings. She simply wanted to play better soccer and more of it, than what Stratford could offer. Stratford’s 3rd shot, WIDE OF THE NET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All of the Warriors played their hearts out on Saturday, they left it ALL on the pitch. It was beautiful soccer and how the game is supposed to be played. Coach Mike, took them all for ice cream after the game, I think actually he may have been more excited than the girls, if that is possible. He’s been a great coach all season long, pushing the girls to reach their highest potential, teaching them the LOVE OF THE GAME!!! It’s a beautiful game, this game of soccer, if you don’t love it, don’t play it, if you love it, play it hard!!!
Here are some of the pictures I took in the first game, yeah I was too nervous in the 2nd game to trust myself with the camera!! LOL!! 🙂