For a mid-November day, November 12 was simply gorgeous. Thanks to David Salamone and the Springfield Youth Club for making available the fine field at West Springfield HS, and ordering up such great weather.
Played before a small growd of loyal parents, the first half went back and forth down the field, Springfield getting the better of it in terms of chances, but ending in a 0-0 tie. Springfield coach Jon Rucker told his girls what they needed to do in the second half.
SYC midfielders Abby B. and Tyler W. listened attentively. That’s Reggie (from "Raiders of the Lost Ark), the team mascot, in the coach’s hand. Meanwhile, Danger was more laid back. This was "just another game". They’d pull it out.
The second half opened with more end to end action. Deena A. showed great intensity. Early on, Julia S. raced down the right sideline, picked up the ball, and rifled a shot from a wicked angle past the SYC goalie and into the side of the net...the inside!
The Cobras didn’t take long to respond, finding seams in the defense that put Danger’s goalie, Katelyn H., under tremendous pressure. After giving up only one goal during the regular season (in a scrum in front of the net) she was used to fielding hard shots and stopped everything that came her way until...
...the Cobra’s Katie F. (out of the picture) rifled a low shot, hugging the ground just inside the far post. BRYC’s Sofia D., Abby O. and Monica U. could do nothing. Katelyn dove, and got close, but it was too late. SYC’s Claudia O. applauded. If you look hard you can see the ball in the back of the net. The score was tied 1-1.
And that’s the way the game ended....the only way it could have ended. Two great teams giving it all they had for the entire game on both offesnse and defense, both undefeated and having given up only one goal the entire regular season between them, fighting to a draw. The teams lined up, shook hands with each other and with the refs (who had done a fine job officiating the fast paced game.
Then it was photo time. The trophies were handed out, Leah T. and Hadika H. grabbed the team sign (joined in the front row by Abby O., and right behind them Cassidi M. and Cendrine C.) and they all smiled for the swarm of parents taking photos of the girls for the last time this season. Note the fancy socks. Coaches Joan Smith and James Sullivan (who later posed for their own picture) suprised the girls with the special attire for their last game because they’d been "On Fire." this season! ...and the team headed off to Chevy’s for the real celebration!