Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall Soccer Tournament

We pretty much spend the entire weekend as a soccer mom and soccer dad, supporting Sam from the sidelines as he played in the Arlington league fall tournament.

The back story on the Rescuers, Sam's team, is that they had to make their way through a very strong Arlington travel team and a combined recreational team that also gave them a run for their money just to make it to a championship game against yet another travel side. Coach Tate watched their opponent in the final beat their Sunday morning team 7-0 while the Rescuers were struggling against the Rec team and he was already preparing for how to deal with a lopsided game. But the Rescuers played with passion and teamwork and grit against a group of boys that were collectively much more talented, but not nearly as committed as Sam's team.

After going 3-0 in tournament play, in the championship game, the Rescuers managed to find themselves up 2-0 in the middle of the second half with their Defense First strategy. A first goal by the other team was almost just a matter of time, but the Rescuers didn't even blink.

Coach Tate wrote in an email to the parents, "To be honest I felt like the momentum immediately swung our way after that goal instead of the way it often goes when you lose the clean sheet."

And the Rescuers actually had two horrible offsides calls against them on two separate breakaways that surely would have resulted in a 3-1 final score. Unfortunately, the referee just didn't understand that if two of our players are completely behind their defense, there is no offsides. But the referee is absolutely part of the game just like a lumpy field and the game went on. As fate would have it, an amazing corner kick combination with 90 seconds to go equalized and the game went into overtime.

In overtime, both Joshua, the Rescuers goalkeeper, and the other keeper had amazing save after amazing save to keep the score 2-2, and Coach Tate took the blame for not shifting strategy to an all or nothing press to offense in the second five minute overtime.

In the end, the Rescuers lost on penalty kicks, but won the hearts of the parent and the respect of the tournament officials and the Arlington travel sides they faced.

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