The Perfect Game

July 21, 2012
It’s the second half. The score is tied. We’re on our home field, and this is our most intense game yet. The calumny of our opponent’s aggressiveness has proven to be true. It’s left everyone on their toes. This game is only going to get better.

But enough with the soliloquy, let's get back to the game. The second half is underway. On somewhat rested legs, both teams are now sailing back and forth across this seemingly prodigious field. The game is being played well by everyone. The ball is currently being handled by our right wing, who is keeping it close at her feet and tantalizing the opposing defender. She crosses it to our midfielder who looks up to see a gap in the defense. Calling to our forward player, she threads the ball through the hole and to her teammate’s feet. The nearest defender looks confounded by the perfect pass, while our forward goes to the goal like a Puritan racing to America. She’s ready to shoot, when she is hit from behind and knocked down like a poppet. The ball spins out of control and out of bounds. There is a moment of worry, but soon our forward is up again. We look to the ref, expecting the effrontery of the other player to cause at least a free kick, but he calls no foul! That’s blasphemy ref! But he just signals for a corner kick. Well, at least we get the ball.

Our offensive midfielder gingerly places the ball by the corner flag. The ball is kicked and soars through the air. This could be our big chance to score. But just at the last moment the other team’s defender moves in perfect position to trap the ball, and booms it up the field. Their forward receives it, and sprints toward the goal. The tides have turned quickly. Our defense is doing a great job, but the opponent manages to get a solid shot off. Nobody breathes as it glides through the air, aimed for the top left corner of the goal. It’s a great kick. But our last line of defense, our goalie, dives and cleaves to the ball with sure hands. We all breathe a big sigh of relief, but we know that we still need to score to win, and fast.

We only have time for one more play. After the hours, days, and weeks of coach inculcating skills to us as players, now is the time to really bring it out. The ball is presently owned by our left wing, who is showing real talent and desire. She beguiles her defender as she pulls a fancy move and flies past. The pass is off to our defensive midfielder, who also steps it up and leaves her defender floundering. We draw nearer to the goal, we are so close, but before we have a chance, the whistle is blown. Normal game time has run out. It is now 10-minute golden goals, the first team to score wins. There’s only one thing we know for sure, tonight’s final score will be 2-1, but who walks off a winner and who walks off defeated, is unknown.

After a brief timeout, we’re back on the field in overtime. A few minutes pass with tensions high, but nothing too accountable. Time is again running out when our offensives mid gains possession of the ball, she wants this game; it is evident from her face and body language. With notable foot skill, she speeds up, and the defender quails at this attacking midfielder. Everyone is near the goal now, working hard for each other, and it is our midfielder who looks ahead to find she has a chance at goal. The opposing goalie blanches as she sees the wind up. The dissembling shot takes on a curve, and slams into the back corner of the net. The other team stares incredulously. Our crowd erupts into cheers; it was a perfect shot to win the game! That was definitely what I would call ingratiating! What a great game! Both teams have fought hard but in the end, we walk off the field, victorious.





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