One Moment

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I was sprinting as fast as I could. My heart was pounding inside my chest and I was breathing hard, but I couldn’t give up. I wanted this more than anything else. The crowd was screaming as I pushed myself hard through the rain. I could feel the stares of all my team as I moved down the field. This was my moment, the soccer game to determine my future. I knew it; talent scouts from all over came to see this game, this moment.


I was running out of energy, fast. I knew I didn’t have the strength to make it to the goal, and just like that my moment was gone. I had to settle for the next best thing. The girl with the ball kicked it too far forward. I hurried ahead of her and stole it. Two more girls were already heading towards me. I was too tired now to get past them both, but I wouldn’t let my team down.


Out of the corner of my eye saw Katie running towards the goal. I passed the ball with the inside of my foot before the other players could catch up to me. Everything happened in about three seconds. Katie ran for the ball, that big girl, number fifteen, ran after her. Katie brought her right foot back for the winning shot. Number fifteen was sprinting. I tried to warn Katie, but there was noting anyone could do.
Fifteen wanted to make it look like she planned on kicking the ball, but the ball was too far away. I knew something bad was coming when fifteen swung the hardest kick I’m sure she was capable of right at Katie’s left ankle.
*

*

*
I jumped out of bed the second my alarm sounded. I could hardly wait, I hurried to get dressed. I chose a pink t-shirt, and my favorite cutoff jean shorts. I hurried to the bathroom and struggled to pull a brush threw my tangled hair. I finally decided to pull it up in to a single pony tail, and let my bangs, cut diagonally across my face, hang to the right side. I smiled at my reflection and hurried into the kitchen.


“Mom!” I shouted as I walked in.


“What?” She asked looking up from her cereal.


I sighed, “I guess you forgot the most important day of my whole.”


“No I’m pretty sure I was there when you were born, took your first steps, said your first words, or your probably thinking of the first time you kicked a soccer ball huh?” My mom replied.


“No! The most important day of my life is today!” I cried.


“I know, I know. I didn’t for get ok?” my mom laughed.


“So you remembered to wash my jersey?” I asked hopefully.


She picked up her bowl and put it in the sink. “Um…”
“Mom! No way! You forgot! I reminded you a million times! And now-“
“Claire!” My mom interrupted. “I was just kidding! Relax. You don’t want to be stressed for your big game.”


“Not just a big game,”


“The most important game I’ve ever played,” my mom said with me. “Honey, you’ve been stressed about this all week. The game doesn’t start ‘til five tonight. Why don’t you just relax for awhile? Go to Katie’s or something. You don’t want to be too stressed to play.”


“Impossible!” I said. “I’m playing, and nothing is going to stop me.”


“Well you’ll want to have a good breakfast then. I’ll make you some eggs and bacon.”
“Cool, thanks!” I shouted as I walked into the living room, sat on the couch, and turned the TV on. I watched the professionals play. Man, they were good, but they still made mistakes. I learned a lot about soccer by watching other people play. Like my big brother Ryan. He was in collage trying to become a doctor now. Soccer was just something to do on the side for Roy. Not for me.
After I finished my breakfast and watched soccer for about an hour, I decided I needed to do something else, so I headed to Katie’s. Katie and I had been on the same soccer team since kindergarten. We were best friends. We passed the ball around for awhile, but the idea of talent scouts was starting to scare us. I was beginning to think my mom was right about the whole too stressed to play thing. We’d had butterflies before a game before though; we knew how to get rid of them.
We called everyone on the soccer team and we all met at Marty’s, the worlds best ice cream place. The rule was, no one could talk about soccer, we needed to take a break and relax before a game as important as this. We were playing for first or second in state, and there where three scholarships being given away, which was a lot. We laughed and talked until finally the time came and we all had to get ready for the game.
Triple checked to make sure I had everything. I even brought an extra water bottle. I ran to the car and we took off. “Are you sure you finished all your homework? This may be the most important Saturday of your life, but you still have to keep your grades up.”
“Mom I don’t need to stress about unimportant things right now.” I complained.
“Unimportant? Soccer might help you get into college, but grades are the other half.”
“I know, I know, I’m fine. Everything is perfect. I’m gonna play great. I can do this.” I tried to encourage myself.
“I know you can sweetheart,” my mom said.
I met my team. We were all excited and nervous as we warmed up. Eventually the ref. came and told us some of the most important rules and to have good sportsmanship, but I could hardly listen. A huge crowd had filled the stands and I could feel the game was about to begin. The ref. left and our coach told us to listen up
“Now I know there’s a lot of pressure on you for this game. You’re all seniors probably looking to go to college I hope. It’s true there are going to be giving three scholarships this year which is a really big deal, but no matter what happens out there I want you to remember that you are some of the best this state’s got to offer. Worst case scenario we come in second. Now I want you to play hard. You're gonna go our there and do what you do best, and have fun doing it!” She shouted. “On the count of three cougars. Ready, One, two, three…”
“COUGARS!” We all yelled and the starters ran out on the field excitedly. I was one of them. I played the hardest I’ve ever played in my life. I dribbled around people. I scored four points; I passed to people who scored. Rachel hardly let a ball by her. She made most saves of the season in that game. We couldn’t do it without our goalie. Everyone was doing great, but that number fifteen was starting to scare us. She was mean and tried to get away with all the fouls she could.


Then my moment came. We were tied thirteen to thirteen. Time was running out and I was sprinting as fast as I could. My heart was pounding inside my chest and I was breathing hard but I couldn’t give up. I wanted this more than anything else. The crowd was screaming as I pushed myself hard through the rain. I could feel the stares of all my team as I moved down the field. This was my moment, the soccer game to determine my future. I knew it; talent scouts from all over came to see this game, this moment.


I was running out of energy, fast. I knew I didn’t have the strength to make it to the goal, and just like that my moment was gone. I had to settle for the next best thing. The girl with the ball kicked it too far forward. I hurried ahead of her and stole it. Two more girls were already heading towards me. I was too tired now to get past them both, but I wouldn’t let my team down.


Out of the corner of my eye saw Katie running towards the goal. I passed the ball with the inside of my foot before the other players could catch up to me. Everything happened in about three seconds. Katie ran for the ball, that big girl, number fifteen, ran after her. Katie brought her right foot back for the winning shot. Number fifteen was sprinting. I tried to warn Katie, but there was noting anyone could do.


I could tell Fifteen tried to make it look like she planned on kicking the ball, but the ball was too far away. I knew something bad was coming when fifteen swung the hardest kick I’m sure she was capable of right at Katie’s left ankle.


I couldn’t watch. Fifteen hit Katie’s ankle hard. I could have sworn I heard a cracking sound. I ran to help as did many others. The ref. pulled out a red card as he rushed over to us. Katie was crying with her hands over her ankle. The game was over. Time was up and Katie was hurt bad. The most exciting game of my life had just turned bad. Her dad carried her off and took her to the hospital. People clapped and then I realized we still got our penalty kick. It was mine. I took a few steps back. “This is for Katie," I whispered and I gave my hardest kick aimed towards the left top corner of the goal.


Everything seemed to go in slow motion. The ball flew to the goal, bounced off the corner of the goal posts and glided into the goal. The crowd went wild. I jumped in the air and screamed. Everyone high-fived and hugged even though we were out of breath and soaked in rain and sweat. We even went and high-fived the other team. I wished Katie would have stayed.


In the end she got her scholarship anyways, and so did Rachel… and so did I. The others found ways to earn money for collage, but we all went one way or another because we all were willing to search after our dreams and fight for the things we wanted.





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