My U13 Gold team had made it to the semis. We were going against the undefeated team in our league, Juan de Fuca. We were in second place overall this season behind them. We knew it was going to be a rough game and were prepared for the bumps and bruises that always seemed to happen against this team.
The ref blew his whistle for kickoff, and we started off by dominating and keeping possession. We were in JDF’s half for the majority of the time and had many shots on net. My team mate was battling for the ball, but all of the sudden the ref blew his whistle and warned my friend Brooke that if she continued to be too aggressive she would be yellow carded. Everyone was shocked because all she was doing was playing soccer. We continued to play, and one of my teammates was shoved over by a girl on Juan de Fuca. She came off the field in tears, and we all expected the shover to be yellow carded, and maybe even red carded. No card was put up, and everyone’s jaw dropped. We ignored this big issue and kept playing. We came off the field, walking proud, for half time.
As the next half started, we started losing our touch but were still dominating. Our best mid was knocked off her feet and had to be carried off of the field. A short time after, one of the strikers fell, and hurt her hamstring, and might have even torn it. We started falling apart. We had five girls that had ran off the field in tears. We were almost out of subs. The ref was obviously favoriting the opposing team. We weren’t able to stop three goals from shooting into our net and were losing hope. We finally got the ball out of our end, and I carried it up the field, beating all the defenders. I crossed the ball to my teammate, and she shot it into the bottom left. Just as we had gotten more motivated to win, the ref blew the final whistle.
Even though we lost, this was the best my team had ever played. Even though at some points we started panicking and were falling apart because the game wasn’t going in our favor, we never once stopped trying. We gave it 110%, and that was enough for me. It’s one thing to lose when you didn’t give it your all, but when you give it your all plus more, it almost feels like a win. Sure we were really upset that we wouldn’t be moving ahead to the finals, but we kept our heads held high and marched off the field and I have never been more proud to be a part of this team.