How Hard You Play the Game This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 3, 2010
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As I walked onto the field, my heart began to race and my eyes began to tear up. If we did not win this game, I would never play high school lacrosse again. I was finally captain and it was my time to shine. I helped lead our team to the first playoff game in school history; we had to win.

As I lead warm-ups, my mind was solely focused on the game that lay ahead. I was running over the plays, dodges, and clears. Warm-ups flew by and before I knew it, it was game time. As I walked onto the field to talk to the referees, there was a tense feeling in the cold air and no one on my team said a word; we all knew what needed to be done. After the captains talked to the referees, we took our positions and waited for the whistle to blow. As soon as the game started, our team took charge. There was great passing and defense, but we were well matched.

At halftime, the score was tied 4-4. In our huddle, I was crying as I told the girls how important this game was and how no one, not even our own school, thought that we would ever make it this far. If we didn’t win this game, we would throw away our whole season and all of the hard work and extra practices that we put in. As the whistle blew to start the second half, I felt crazy, like I would do anything in the world to win the game. I ran faster and shot harder than I had ever before. With five minutes left on the clock, we were down 6-7. Coach Yeager called a time out and we all ran to get in our huddle.

Coach Yeager didn’t give out any inspirational words or even say he was proud of us, because he could see the hunger and drive in our eyes. He simply told us a couple of plays and some improvements to be made. Before we broke the huddle, I said two words, “Kill them.” We ended our huddle yelling out, “Woodstock on three. Woodstock on three. One, Two, Three, Woodstock!”

We ran onto the field ready to wipe the grins off of our opponents’ faces. We played a tough four minutes and then finally a teammate scored. We congratulated her with smiles, but we held in any cheers because now it was do or die. At the next face-off the other team got the ball. They ran it down to our goal side to score, but after some passing we got the ball back and I saw it coming up the field. I made my best offensive cut and went for the ball. My teammate passed it to me and I was off, I felt like I was running for my life. I decided then and there that I was going straight to goal. As I got closer to the goal, I faked left, dodged right, and then all of a sudden face-dodged with a perfect shot on goal. I immediately smiled because it was a beautiful goal to the off hand left pocket. But, then something weird occurred because the other team burst into cheers. I quickly realized that the goalie had blocked my shot. The horn blew to end the game and I knew that our winning season was over.

As I put my head down to walk back to our benches, I was rushed by my screaming teammates. They were all smiling and cheering; I was so confused. I asked them how they could be happy and hugging me when we just lost the game. Ciara, the other captain, exclaimed, “Carly you just had an amazing shot! I have no idea how that goalie blocked it but you played your best and we have came the closest in school history! We are legends now because we put everything into it and there is no shame in that!” After she said that, a huge smile came onto my face because I realized that she was right. It didn’t matter that we had lost because each one of us had played the game as hard as we could and we had put all of our heart and soul into it. I walked off the field for the last time that day feeling like a champion.

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