If you are of my generation and older, I'm sure you remember hearing Jim McKay do the voice over commentary on ABC's Wide World of Sports opening segment. Who can forget the whole, "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" line along with the picture of that skier crashing down the mountain side.
My soccer girlies got to experience the agony part last night as they experienced their first loss of the season against a very, very good team loaded with seasoned players. Yep, most of their opponents last night were actually girls my oldest daughter, goalie girl, plays with during the club season. In other words, they are double rostered juniors. Our team of freshman and sophomores just couldn't keep up at the end and with only 7 minutes to go, they blasted a shot on us. Goalie girl made the initial stop...full out extended, had the ball, but when gravity took hold and she crashed back to earth, the ball skittered out of her gloves. She scrambled to get back up and reclaim it, but with no one close enough to help her clear it away, the ball got tapped back into the net.
The stuff of nightmares.
She was in tears. Sobbing. This was a big game and even though the Team gets scored on, she takes each one that goes past her personally. This was only the third ball, all season, that she hasn't stopped.
Her teammates were super supportive. One girl even grabbed her chin and told her, "Repeat after me...this was not my fault. This was not my fault." Parents even told her, "You made the initial stop, the defense should have cleared that ball."
Her sister, who made some beautiful plays including an amazing cross that in any other situation would have lead to a goal, played a fair number of minutes. With 21 girls on the bench for the game, the rotations and substitutions came fast and furious as this coach is apt to do. Of course, that doesn't allow for any defensive or offensive rhythm to set in amongst the players on the field. A fact that was noticed by the younger daughter's club coach...a former professional player from England. I think he used the term..."what in the bloody hell, he's substituting again??"
I think we are all ready for club to start.
They played hard. They played with heart. They played with passion. But sometimes that isn't enough and you have a loss at the end of regulation time.