Field Which I Stay

May 21, 2017

She towered over me, tall and skinny. It was a fair game, the ball was right in between us, but she was not going to give up. She let out one big kick, and I ended up on the soft grass. This is when I felt the tingling of my pinky finger, but a couple seconds later I felt nothing. “I am fine,” I kept argueing to my coach. Although I really wasn’t.
I’ve been playing soccer since I was in kindergarten, and this year, eighth grade, was the last year I was going to play on a soccer team. Although remaining active was very important, I wanted to focus more on school work than playing sports.
Today was the last day of the soccer season, our last Sunday game. I was so shocked that this was the last soccer game I was going to play and this majorly motivated me to leave everything out on the field. I was so excited to show my talent, and I made a goal for myself to score at least five goals.
I get to Centennial Field thirty minutes early so I could practice with my team. I didn’t want to work too hard so I could exert myself while the game was going on. All my teammates got in a line and one-by-one kicked the soccer ball towards the goal. The ball I kicked made it into the goal which gave me confidence. We all ran laps, up and down Centennial Hill to get our blood pumping. It was almost time for the game to start and I couldn’t stop thinking about how well I pictured myself playing.
The referees just had arrived and checked each team by making sure we had shin guards and the proper cleats. We were now reader for the kick off. I started off sitting by the side line, but I was anxious to get in the game. I sat there with my other teammate babbling about how nervous I was, but I was comforted by her telling me she was also. All I could do at this moment was cheer for my team. But I didn’t want to, I wanted to be out on the field playing.
A couple minutes into the game and my coach let my other teammate and I know who we were going in for. He gave us a prep talk, reassuring us that it’s not all about winning.
“Try to have fun, that's all that matters,” my coach announced.
A couple minutes later screamed, “Subs!” as he let my other teammates and I go in. I tried to forget about my emotions and how nervous I was.
“Just do your best,” I whispered to myself as I was waiting for the referee to blow his whistle.
The game continued.
I was playing offense. I kept picturing myself, as if I was my mother looking at me from the sidelines. I thought about how crazy I looked, running up and down the field like a cheetah leaping for prey. Although my appearance didn’t matter because I just needed to score a couple goals and impress my team.
I got ahold of the ball and made my way towards the opposite side of the field, swerving around the girls on the other team. I tried to shoot a goal, but missed. I chased after the girl who stole the ball from me, but I was not successful.
I was breathless and panting, but I wasn’t going to give up so soon. No one had scored a goal yet.
I intercepted the ball and again, with all force, made my way down to the goal. As I was running, I noticed girls on the other team on both sides of me. There were no teammates to pass too. I had to make a plan quickly. With all their teammates surrounding me, I had no choice but to bolt through them. I got past the first girl blocking my path easily, but she wasn’t the only one in my way.
As I make it up to the second girl, she tried to kick the ball away from me. We were head to head and had an equal chance of getting ahold of the ball. Her rough cleats scraped my leg, she wasn’t going to give the ball up. Back and forth we were fighting for the ball, but she wasn’t only kicking the ball, she was kicking my leg also. Her kicks were slowly getting stronger than mine and my leg began to cramp up. She gave one last big kick. I fell to the ground, landing on my hand. I laid there for a couple seconds and my coach ran up to to make sure I was fine. For awhile it felt like someone was constantly poking my finger with a needle. Although, it stopped and felt like normal. I got up and my coach could tell I was kicked hard. There was no foul against the other team, my coach was getting angry because he knew I was hurt. I refuted him saying I’ll be okay and I can keep playing. I looked down to my fingers and just my pinky finger was swollen and purple. He was convinced I had to seek emergency care, although I wanted to redeem myself.
“I can stay. At least until half time, please!” I reassured him, though my finger was telling me otherwise.
He told me to sit out for a bit and see how I feel. The girls sitting out on the other team kept glancing at me icing my hand. They started giggling and I knew they were secretly making fun of me. No way was I going to sit out any longer. I told my coach I wanted to be put back in the game. He seemed hesitant at first but knew I wasn’t going to give up. My other team gave me a sympathetic look that said “Are you really sure you can keep playing?” I didn’t want them to think any less of me. I was a tough young girl and one trip wouldn’t stop me from playing soccer, a sport I was passionate about.
I noticed my focus wasn't on the game anymore, it was on my swollen pinky finger. I never admitted it, but that was because I was afraid of what my teammates would think of me. I was convinced they were going to call me a wuss and a loser. The other team was already calling me names and I wanted it to stop because I knew I wasn’t any of the words they were calling me.
I sat out for most of the game because my coach was so worried. It was halftime and still no one scored a goal. My mom agreed with my coach that I needed to go to the emergency room and she convinced me that we should go as soon as possible, which meant right then.
I was upset and embarrassed that I left my team, but the turnout proved it was a good idea. Once we got Immediate Care, the lady at the counter insisted that I needed to be seen right then. It only took a couple minutes till I got called into a room and they told me it is really difficult to break a finger, but it does look like I did a lot of damage to it. I went into the X-Ray room and I found out that my finger was in fact broken. I let all my teammates know I was sorry that I had to leave and an update of the results on my finger. They were all so sweet about it and I knew I had nothing to worry about.
Once my mother and I left Immediate Care, I met up with all my teammates at Yogli Mogli and we all sat while enjoyed frozen yogurt and laughed about how mean the other team was. We mocked their facial expressions and giggled about how they used violence as a tactic to gain an advantage.
“I think that team need to be reminded that it’s not all about the win or lose, but mostly about how much fun you have,” my coach reminded us.

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