The Big Game | Teen Ink

The Big Game

March 29, 2019
By TomCpo8 BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
TomCpo8 BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Semi-finals; one of our toughest opponents that we are going to face. “Captains!” called the referee. Two of our players go and answer the call to do the coin flip. As they come back, “We are on this side and they have ball first, we get it second half,” Coach yells out the starting lineup. Me and the 10 other players take the field. The ref takes the soccer ball and places it in the middle of the field, then … the whistle blows. One of the most important games is underway, this game is going to decide who gets into the Championship.

          “Okay guys, tomorrow is going to be a big game. Let’s go over their lineup and study them so we have the best chance tomorrow” Our coach, Coach Yaz, called a team meeting after school the day before the game. We study their formation, the different players they have, anything that might help us in the game tomorrow. They are using a different formation then what we are used to, that is a 4-3-3, instead of a 4-4-2. There formation means that there are 4 on defense, 3 in the midfield, and 3 forwards. The 1 extra forward is something that we aren’t used to. We played a 4-4-2. That means that we have 4 defenders, 4 midfielders, and 2 forwards. Leading into this game we had a really good record, we had only one loss of the season and we were coming into this game confident. The only problem was that the team we were going to play, Ramsey, also had an exceptional record. In their entire season, they had only let up a couple of goals. This was going to be a tough game.

After kickoff we went back and forth. They had shot that either missed or got saved by our goalie and we had shots the either missed or was saved. We were neck and neck but then, the unthinkable happened, they… put… one… away. The worst thing that could have happened, happened. The ball was put back into the middle and the referee blew the whistle, but unlike the score in the beginning of the game, it was 1-0 Ramsey.. That goal really shook us as a team. After that we didn’t play as well as we could have. Shot after shot, their goalie was always saving them. What felt like the longest half I have ever played was finally over. It is Still 1-0. The teams walked off, one smiling and the other with their heads hung low. The coaches went off with their teams to have a half time discussion.

During the half time discussion our coach was really trying to emphasize how important it was that we finish our opportunities. If we didn’t put the soccer ball in the back of the net, then there was no way we were going to be able to win. He wasn’t very happy with us, mostly because it wasn’t like us to not finish our opportunities. We took advantage of every opportunity, big or small, that was given to us and always finished the chances that we got, and rarely missed them. Today, we were missing one after the other. When he was done talking to us we all got up and walked back over to the bench to wait for the second half to start. The players that were out on the field talked to each other on what they are doing wrong, how they need to change, and players to watch out for. What felt like forever, the refs finally blow their whistle for the player to re-take the field. My team gets into a huddle, some positive and encouraging words are said, then the chant;

“Po on 3, 1...2…3… Po!” after this we hit the field running.

         “You ready to do this!” one of my teammates said as they passed me.

“Let’s go boys!” Yelled our goalie. Looking around I see my teammates getting their final stretches in before the Whistle blows. The ball is rolled out to the middle of the field where there are players waiting to kick it off. I look at the refs and they were getting their timers ready, then… the whistle blows. 45 minutes left in the game, we are done by 1, it was time to really buckle down. We are about half way in to the second half, we had some chances to score, but this was our best chance. One of my teammates got fouled in the box, and was rewarder a penalty kick. As I was standing outside the 18-yard box, he started to take his approach to the ball, and after he kicked it, my heart sank. He missed the shot, our best chance an evening the score and we missed it, again. After that, we started to fall apart a little and they scored again. Now it was 2-0 Ramsey. There is only about 10 minutes left in the game. We kept trying and trying to have a ball touch the back of the net, but we weren’t successful. The final whistle blew, not only ending the game, but ending a great season.

Even though we didn’t win the game, I still learned a lot from it. For example, it showed me to never give up until the final whistle blows. It helped me learn how to cope with a bad situation. Also, looking back, we had a wonderful season, only losing 2 games, which put our record at 15-2, that’s 15 wins and 2 losses. Throughout the season I was able to make new friends, and even improve my relationship with old ones. I don’t count this season as a lose because we lost one game, I count this season as a victory because of the games we won, friends I made, and fun I had.

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