Special shout out to Carlos for bringing a real camera to Game 4 and sharing his pictures with me!
I failed to do an update on Game 3 of the soccer season. Jiro was on his camping trip, so it was just Satchel playing. We were up against Our Lady of Sorrows, which had a pretty shallow bench. However, they had one player who soon came to be known as the "Big Man." How the Big Man was in third or fourth grade, I do not know. Our coach very generously told me that he truly believed that the Big Man was indeed of age and not a ringer. In the Big Man's defense, I don't think he was giving it his 100% the first half when he was on the field. He was big enough to completely crush our guys and he didn't.
Unfortunately, he was in the goal during the second half. Even without trying, he was easily able to stop most of our shots.
Regardless, thanks to an error on their part (too many people on the field) their first goal didn't count. So in the end, we had our best showing--a 2 to 2 tie!
In general, the team looked really good. Satchel played defense the first half and had a few great kicks and a few wiffle kicks. In the second half as offense, he looked pretty good too. He actually had a very exciting shot on goal that hit the pole and bounced out.
I think the most exciting part of the game was when the Coach insinuated that having Jiro there might have made the difference between tying and winning!
Game 4 was our first "away" game. Jiro, who I think was still a tad scarred from his dramatic finish in Game 2, was very nervous about going to Advent Presbyterian in Cordova. In his mind they had a stadium full of hundreds of people who were going to watch him. I told him to try not to worry and that once we got there he'd be fine. Thankfully, I was right.
We were actually pretty early and got to see the 1st and 2nd grade Idlewild team play the 1st and 2nd grade Advent team. The Advent team had a few girls on it and Jiro came over to me and said, "I hope the team we play has girls. Then, it will be easy to beat them!" I'll admit I thought it was funny, but I quickly pointed out that the girls on the field looked pretty tough to me.
For the first time ever, Jiro was in the starting line up--as goalie. He loves playing goalie. We were pretty dominant, but Jiro still had the chance to make several saves.
(Looks like our defense may have been doing a little overkill here!)
It seems that in each game there is a new basic soccer rule that our team shows that they are semi-clueless about. (i.e. Game 1--throw ins. Game 2--direct kicks. Game 3--kick offs.) In Game 4 it was goal kicks. The nice thing about the Advent field was that it actually had clearly marked lines. At our field, we usually guesstimate when it comes to goal kicks. So, the ref had to give Jiro a little coaching on where to put the ball and he had to alert the rest of the team to clear the box.
(Most hilarious action shot ever?)
When coach switched out the A team for the B team half way through the first half, as is tradition now, I was surprised to see Satchel come on the field in the goalie shirt. He looked happy about it, so that was good. He too is scarred from Game 2, I think. Too much running scares him a bit, and he is naturally a bit lazy, so defense is his usual preference. And as we know, Goalies do very little running--hence the grin.
Anyway, he looked amazing in the goal. He made several saves--although in a much more leisurely fashion than Jiro--and had incredible confidence on the goal kicks. When he got the ball, he ran to the top of the box and easily threw it over the midfield line. It was awesome.
(Another awesome action photo!)
By half time it was 0-0. We had a lot of missed opportunities to score on the other team. And honestly, had it not been for the superb goalies, they may have had several goals on us.
At the beginning of the second half, Jiro was back in the goal and the other team had the kick off. Our offensive line was asleep and the other team charged straight for the goal. They kicked it toward the goal and Jiro deflected it, but on the bounce, they got another kick in that just skimmed the top of the goal. There was no way Jiro could have stopped it.
After that we spent most of the game fruitlessly trying to score. Even with two penalty kicks in front of the box, we were scoreless. It was (sort of!!) like the Women's World Cup final against Japan.
It was a tense game, and several times I was on my knees praying! Ha! Must be something about this church league.
Here are a few things I took from the game...
1. Jiro needs to get back out on the field and kick some butt. He's a tough goalie, but he doesn't have the size he needs to really kick ass on the 3rd and 4th grade team. (He's in 2nd grade.) Which also makes me think that had I put him on the 1st and 2nd grade team, he's be a total all star.
2. Satchel needs to really practice this goalie thing. I have never seen him look more natural at anything. The coach is giving everyone on the team a chance to play goalie, so he likely won't play that position again. I'm inclined to look for a club team for him to play on that will be more competitive, but that could take some of the fun out of it. It would also likely involve lots of driving out to Mike Rose.
3. Us parents need to get a sweet Bloody Mary station going like the parents of the 1st and 2nd grade team do!
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