The Last Minute This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Thedistance between us seemed so far. So many things could go wrong. I never thoughtit would be me in this situation. I slowly lifted my head and looked at the otherside of the field. It was a straight, clear path right to the goalie. I felt mylegs tighten and begin to bend into running position. It was finally my chance,the one I had been waiting for all season, and it was just me, the ball and thegoalie.

I lifted my feet off the ground as if in slow motion and began todribble the ball. I heard the referee yell "Fifty-three seconds." Myfeet moved faster and faster as I approached the goal.

This is it. Thisis finally my moment, the championship game, tied at 2-2, I thought. Then, withsweat running down my face, I saw a yellow shirt charging toward me. She seemeddetermined to knock me down because she knew we had no chance of winning in ashoot out.

"Thirty-six seconds," I heard shouted from the sidelines. I looked at that girl in the yellow shirt and saw her getting closer. Iknew I was fast, but she looked faster. As I looked down at the ball, I saw amuddy shoe sliding toward me. I looked at the ball and looked for a teammate, butno one was open. I had only one chance. I knew the move by heart, I had beenworking on it all season. As my foot met the ball I knew I had finally gotten themove down. The ball rolled with backspin up into the air right over the girl'shead. Watching the ball, I made the next part of my move, dodging her body to theleft just as the ball fell from the sky and I trapped it with my kicking foot,and began to run as fast as I ever had.

Once again I heard a bellow fromthe side - 18 seconds left. I sprinted with that ball right at the goalie. Shelooked big and strong and was standing with bent knees and elbows, her handsready for any shot I had. I looked at the spot in the goal where I kick my bestshots, the upper left-hand corner. She was covering the left. I was coming fromthe wrong angle to put the ball in the right side of the net with my strong foot.I was so bad at kicking with my left foot that I began to slow as I realized Ihad no chance.

Then I heard my best friend, who is also one of the bestsoccer players I know, yell at me from the side. She had practiced with me somany times and knew I could make the shot with my left foot if I kicked it hardenough. She screamed, "Katie, you can do it. Kick on your laces with yourleft foot." That gave me reassurance. I dribbled a few more steps as I heardthe crowd counting down the last ten seconds. I pushed the ball about a foot ortwo in front of me. Nine. I drew my left leg back. Eight. I pushed my leg forwardwith as much power as I had. Seven. I smacked the ball. Six. I felt my heartpound and the sweat drip off my burning face. Five. I watched as the ball headedstraight for the top of the right side of the goal. Four. The goalie took arunning dive at my shot. Three. The ball bounced off her finger tips and keptgoing for the top right corner. Two. The ball hit the inside of the net up topand dropped down to the ground. One.

I had done it. I had scored. Thatmoment was all mine, and I scored the win for the state championships. Secondslater, my team was hugging me, crying and lifting me into the air. The feelingright at that moment is one I will never forget.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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