Thought I’d share a story and a couple photos from my daughter's first round High School (OSAA) soccer playoff game this past Saturday night.
The scene is set in downtown Portland, Oregon at Lincoln High School in cold and very rainy conditions on an absolutely soaked old synthetic turf field:
My daughter's team, Lakeridge High School (in blue), is to play the 2-time defending Oregon State Girl’s Soccer Champions, Lincoln High School, with 4 all-league players (Lincoln sent 6 players from last year’s team to D1 teams...Lincoln is a perennial big-time soccer program).
Just 10 minutes into the game, Lakeridge scores first on a free kick from outside 20 meters. About 10 minutes later, their season’s leading scorer goes down with a severe ankle sprain. It’s a tough moment as she’s sprawled face down on the soaking field for seconds that seem like minutes. When play resumes, the Lakeridge offense that was so dominating fails to score again, but the defensive line shuts down Lincoln.
The second half gets much tougher. Our forwards are largely ineffective while Lincoln’s big and fast forwards begin a more aggressive assault on the Lakeridge defense...but the Lincoln girls are repeatedly denied. It was the best game I’ve ever seen my daughter play as she made beautiful steals, tackles, and head saves, beat her opponents to the ball repeatedly, sent long arcing kicks downfield to her forwards, covered her teammates, and frustrated the Lincoln players. In the end, with the rain still blowing through, Lakeridge indeed held firm and onto the 1-0 lead to win. The Lakeridge parents let out a collective sigh of relief, and our girls ran and leaped with joy into one big happy heap. They now head to the second round...this time at home tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
As my daughter, a senior and Captain of the team, stood soaking wet yet beaming brightly, she said it was the happiest moment she’s ever experienced in any sport.
It was truly a special moment, one unique to youth sports, and one that my family and I will always treasure.