The first time I ever won a tournament playing soccer was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The first round was so incredible! It was all in Ohio. The breeze and sunshine in Ohio was so fluorescent and clean. “Tweet,”a loud and ringing whistle came from the referee, as the other team kicked the ball off. As any other forward would do, I came at them like a freight train. My eye was on the prize. I stole the ball right away and took it to the goal! I’m winding my foot back to shoot and suddenly, I feel a sharp pain to the back of my leg. “Uh oh” I said quietly. The feeling of a knife going into my leg came comfortably for the years I have been playing soccer. It was a cleat! I found myself eye to eye with the ground! It was a huge fall, but just what I was looking for in a first round of the Crew Cup. I get up feeling nothing but adrenaline. I then hear the oohs and ahhs from the crowd. I get up to see my teammate dribbling with the ball. A break away, as I get open for the ball. Next thing i know the ball is rolling to me at a nice speed. I pick my foot up to be in front of the goal. I wind my foot back and follow through. Next thing I hear is the whoosh of the ball hitting the net. Goal, it was a goal. Everyone went crazy. What a great way to start the tournament. The opposing team got the ball for another kickoff. I rushed them again and missed the ball. I need to trust the midfield to steal it. Next thing I know I see my teammate dribbling the ball all the way to shoot and he scores! Wow, 2-0 to start the first round and end the first half. We had nothing but confidence and support at halftime. I start the 2nd half on the bench. My coach told me to sub in for the forward. The ball goes out and I come in. I said to myself “ok let’s keep the pain train coming.” The next 30 minutes go by like a blink of an eye. I then hear the familiar 3 whistle blows from the referee. Wiping the sweat off my forehead I was happy with the outcome of the game. I was very confident the next day as we moved to the next round.
We are now in the semifinals. “Just like that?,” i asked myself. I really didn’t realize a tournament moved so fast. I hop out of my car to see a field of wet grass and the coolest jerseys I have ever seen. I was intimidated by their awesome jerseys. I wait for my teammates to come. We patiently waited for the game to start as we warm up passing the ball. The next thing I know, 15 minutes go by and the game is ready to start. Eagerly we wait for the referee to blow the whistle. “Tweet”, the game is underway. I pass it to my teammate . They try to steal it right away as I did in the first round of the tournament. They don’t succeed. My teammate thought it was a great idea to take on 9 players. My teammate is not your average player; he is the biggest and strongest on the team. I turn to see him power through their team. He shoots it and whoosh is all I heard as the ball hits the net. Everyone goes crazy. What a great way to start the game. Fifteen minutes go by with each team trading possession. The referee blew the whistle. It’s halftime as I walked off the field congratulating my team. I had a quiet halftime as everyone was pleased with the outcome of the second game. It went by so fast! The semifinal finished and we were happy with a 1-0 win.
We then moved straight into the quarterfinals. The team we were supposed to play didn’t show. It lead to a bye, which meant that we move on to the finals automatically. We were very happy to make it into the finals. We were matched up against a huge team. They were all tall but skinny. They kicked the ball off. We rushed them and stole the ball after 5 minutes of the game. I wind my foot back and follow through. It hit the goalie and went in and everyone went crazy, 1-0! I subbed out and at a blink of an eye, it was 3-0! Being on the bench was relaxing but my adrenaline was still flowing. I stayed out for the entire first half. My coach gave a very inspirational speech. He said “ as a liverpool fan they had the biggest comeback in history. They were 3 newl down and they waited last minute to catch up. I’m not saying that this can happen to us but stay strong headed and don’t get cocky”. I started the second half. There were some close calls but they didn’t score. The game ended 3-0 and I was relieved. We won the game and the tournament! The whole weekend was truly a memory.