Nothing Lasts Forever
By Laura D., Battle Creek, MI
Where it All StartedIt was an average Saturday morning at Western Michigan University. Everyone was getting ready for the soccer game later that night. Isabel was talking to some of her teammates like she always does when they are getting ready for games.“I’m really excited and nervous for the game tonight” she said as she braided her long, brown hair. They found out a couple weeks earlier that someone from the U.S. women’s national soccer team was coming to watch their game. She would tell the head coach if there was anyone really good on the team.
Everyone was going to do their best tonight, especially Isabel. Her whole life she wanted to be on the national soccer team. She played defense almost every year that she played soccer, so she got really good at it.
“Hurry up” yelled the coach through the locker room door. “You need to get warmed up, we have 3 hours until game time.” Isabel and Morgan were the first ones out, then more followed. “Lets start with some passing drills” said Coach Smith. After about ten minutes Coach Smith called everyone over. “Remember, today is the day that your life could change so play like you know how to and you’ll all do fine.” she said. Then the team continued to warm up.
The other team showed up about an hour later, Western was playing Ohio. The national player was also there to watch Ohio play, so it wasn’t going to be an easy game everybody wanted it to be their best game ever.
“Thirty minutes until game time” yelled Coach Smith. Everyone gathered in the locker room. “Do you think we’re ready?” asked Allison, the starting striker. Everyone looked at Coach Smith, “Of course we are.” All of the players were nervous and you could see it by the expression on their faces. “Don’t worry and get nervous because a famous soccer player is here to watch you, forget that she’s here and act like it’s a normal crowd, you’ll play worse if you think about who’s watching you.” said Coach Smith.
After that the team came together, did their team chant and got ready to go onto the field. Sam was always the first one out and onto the field because she is the starting goalie, then the rest is just by number order. As they walked onto the field the fans started to cheer, there were normally around 5,000 people there, just like there was tonight.
Both teams and the referees stood on the field as the national anthem played. Then the teams went to their benches and the captains came to the middle of the field and did the coin toss. Michigan won so they got to pick the side they wanted to defend and Ohio got the kick off. The captains went back to their benches and told their team the result of the coin toss. A few minutes later the teams went onto the field and the game was about to start.
Soon after the kick off Michigan got the ball and scored a goal. Allison made the goal and Isabel was the one that got the ball up field to her. The fans cheered as the team gave Allison high fives. “Awesome goal” said Hayley who played right wing, “Good job” said Sarah the center stopper.
Ohio did the kick off, then the rest of the first half was very aggressive. Isabel was playing hard the whole time not letting anyone push her around or get by her. There were a few penalties from Ohio and the referees only called two, but that was okay because Michigan wasn’t going to stop fighting.
Near the end of the first half Ohio had a corner kick, Sam the goalie was telling everyone where to stand and who to mark. Cheyanne, the Ohio striker took the kick and and sent it to the middle of the goal box where the right wing Summer, was waiting to head it in. Sam reached out and grabbed the ball before Summer could get there. She punted it down the field and then the whistle blew, it was finally half time. Both teams headed into the locker room.
Coach Smith said “We played a pretty good first half, everyone was playing aggressive and the ball was on their half of the field most of time. That means the offense and defense did their part. Now lets play even better this half” The team went out of the locker room and back onto the field. The crowd cheered just like they did when the game started.
This half Michigan got the kick off. Allison sent the ball up field to Hayley, and Hayley passed it back to center defense Sarah. Then Sarah passed it up to the left wing Lisa who took a shot and scored. The crowd jumped up cheering with excitement. Lisa got high fives by the team, while Ohio tried to figure out how they had scored so fast.
It was halfway through the second half and Michigan was up 2-0. Ohio’s stricker was trying to score so she was being really aggressive, even though she already got a penalty for pushing. She got by the center stopper, Sarah so now it was up to Isabel to stop her. Isabel approached her and got her to she side then did a fake out move and got the ball up to the right wing who scored another goal.
At the end of the game it was 3-0 and Michigan had won. Isabel’s mom and dad came down onto the field with everyone else’s parents. They both gave her a hug and her mom said “you played an awesome game”
“Thanks mom” replied Isabel. The team was in the locker room talking about the game, then there was a knock on the door. It was Alex Morgan, the soccer player they sent to watch their game. “Sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to say you guys played an outstanding game”
“Thanks” said Coach Smith. Everyone was full of joy after she said that. “Can I talk to number 7 please?” she asked.
“Yeah” replied Coach Smith. Isabel slowly got up and walked out of the locker room with Alex Morgan something she never even dreamed of doing.
“I think you have real talent” said Alex. “Wait, are you sure you were watching me out there?”
“ Yeah I’m sure, your fast, aggressive, and have good footwork. I’m going to tell my coach that I think she should watch you sometime”
“Thats awesome” said Isabel. “Can I have your e-mail and phone number so I can give you more information later?”
“Of course” Isabel said as Morgan pulled out her phone. “Hopefully I’ll see you again soon” said Alex.
“Mom, you’ll never believe what just happened!” said Isabel full of excitement as she walked across the room. “What?” said her mom, Susan Lauten. “Alex Morgan, a professional soccer player said she thought I was good and was going to tell her coach to watch me sometime!” Her mom hugged her so tight she could barely breathe. “ I always knew you had it in you” said Susan. Isabel went to find her dad, Steve to tell him the good news.
Susan saw Coach Smith walking out of the locker room and went over to talk to her. “Thank you for teaching my daughter so many things, because of you she might get to play on the U.S national team.That has been her dream her whole life.”
“It’s not just me, I can tell anyone what to do to improve, but it doesn’t mean they are good enough to do it. Isabel is a very fast learner and can do anything that is thrown at her.” They both just stood there for a minute then Susan said ” Thanks for being a fantastic coach.”