When I step onto the soccer field, my heart beats a little faster. I jog into position at left fullback, and glance around. We have a throw in. Possession is lost on the throw, so I mark the striker. The stopper has stolen the ball, and the man I was covering moves toward the play. My eyes dart to the ball, then my teammate. He needs someone to pass to. The hair on my neck and arms begins to rise and I get goose bumps as I sprint into a space, shouting for the ball. He plays a beautiful ball into the space. I have plenty of room, so I dribble quickly down the left-hand line.
Both teams move with me, one man closing in. I inhale sharply, jerking my head to the right. Two men open in the middle, one in front of me. I decide to go for the cross and strike the ball with my left foot, curving it over the first player's head. Too much, I think. I keep moving forward in case I am still needed in the play, watching the ball. My second teammate settles the ball with ease and expertly turns around a defender. I can feel my heart pounding as he deftly strikes the ball with excellent curve, sending it to the lower right corner of the net. A grin spreads across my face as the team crowds around him and celebrates as we move back to the half-mark.
Several comments of "Nice ball!" and "Great shot!" can be heard from the bench. We know that we are losing, we just love to play.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.