Even though it was two summers ago, I still remember it clearly. Even though it might sound untrue the game was the championship game of a soccer tournament. Our team was happy just being there because we were playing a level higher than we play in the regular season. The score was tied 2-2 after overtime. When I got over to my team to get water before the shootout started I just broke down and started crying. All of it just from nervousness because I was the goalie, and, oh my gosh, I'd never had to do this before. As my coach was saying who was taking shots I heard my name spoken. On top of all this nervousness I was taking the last shot. One of our forwards was hugging me the whole time trying to talk me down and get me ready to go. But there wasn't enough time. The ref called for the captains to flip the coin. As I'm over there waiting for the other captain I'm still crying. We won the toss so we had to shoot first. We shoot and it went right past the goalie's hands. They shoot and it goes straight at me on the ground. Phew that was easy. Our next shot goes in the top left corner. But their next shot is a little harder. It goes to my side for a simple dive and I get it right at the line. No goal! We're ahead 2-0 now and I'm thinking that if we scored and I saved the next one we'd win automatically. This shouldn't be too hard. Our third shot is a goner, just outside of the right post. Oh, great. Their next shot was a perfect bottom right corner. The hardest shot to stop. 2-1 and they are catching up. We miss the next shot by hitting the crossbar. Their fourth shot goes in just over my fingers. It's tied 2-2 now and I get to shoot. I'm so nervous that I overshoot it and the ball goes sailing just inches over the crossbar. Crap! I have to save this or we lose. My tears are finally gone now so I can focus. I stand on the line and the ref asks if I'm ready. Yes. Yes I am. Bring it on. This is the only time I've had the feeling of slow motion. She shoots and it seems like seconds before I'm shuffling to the correct position. But now I know that it was only a fraction of a second. The ball went right at my hands and I knocked it out and away from the goal. My team immediately started screaming and running at me. The first there was the forward who was comforting me earlier. She wrapped me in a big hug. The rest of the team came in a rush and hit me at full force and knocked me to the ground in a dog pile. I was too happy to worry about the pain of having thirteen 13-year-olds on top of me. Once they were all off me and standing up i started crying again. But this time because of happiness.
The First Shootout
August 17, 2011