Sunday, June 5 - A storm had been forecast all week for Sunday… it never materialized in the sky, but there was definitely a storm brewing on the upper turf field at Robinson HS where the High School Girls House Soccer League finalists met to see who would be this season’s champion.
It was rematch of the fall game with BRYC’s Psyche, coached by Josh Rock and Danny Mathapha facing BRYC’s DANGER!, coached by James Sullivan and Joan Smith.
The game was evenly matched to start when at 17:30 a Psyche player, deep and to left of goal, centered the ball and it was struck home for the goal. Psyche was able to keep most of the play in DANGER!’s end, but the DANGER! defense, and their goalie, Alex S. would not allow any more balls through. Right before the half, at 43:30 DANGER! midfielder Erin M. sent a high ball over the defense, and Jordan S. ran it down and popped a high shot toward goal. Jordan S., the Psyche goalie (that’s not a typo, it’s an odd coincidence) was standing on the 18 yard line. She got her fingers on the ball, which took some speed off of it, but it still had enough roll into the goal and bring the game to a 1-1 tie. And the half ended.
The second half saw a lot of back and forth play. Psyche was pushing hard for another goal, and kept the ball in the DANGER! end for much of the time. But although there were shots on both sides, no more goals were allowed and the regulation game expired with the 1-1 tie intact. Two five-minute OT periods saw shots by both teams, but no additional goals.
So the game went to a shootout. It took 6 shots to decide the winner:
Shots for DANGER! were taken by Erin M., Sarah L., Julia S., Sophie L., Liz M. and Rachel P. They made 5 of their 6 shots.
Psyche sent Susie M., Emily B., Jordan S., Liz F., Alexis E. and Alisha H. to the line. They made 4 of their 6 shots.
At this point it felt a little like we all slipped into the Twilight Zone… the fall championship game ended 1-1 in regulation. OTs played to a tie. DANGER! won on the 6th shot in the shootout. And so it went this season… and DANGER! walked off the field with trophy.
This was a hard-fought game. Both teams are comprised largely of seniors… so this was the last season for many of them. The two teams had been playing each other for five years starting in the U13-14G age group. This was it. The last game… the last time they’d face off. The stakes were high.
The unfortunate part of it all is that someone has to walk away disappointed, and you don’t want it to be your friends, schoolmates, All Star teammates… girls you like and respect.
If Psyche had been able to stay for the trophy award, Coach James would have thanked them for being such worthy adversaries… and such great friends. The rivalry between the teams pushed both teams season after season to play harder. We made each other great.
I firmly believe that in the end, if you play a good game with heart and a high level of sportsmanship… you always walk off the field a winner. Although DANGER! left with the trophy… both teams were winners that night.
- Respectfully submitted by Joan Smith, Assistant Coach DANGER!