Sunday, February 17, 2008

It Was a Grand Day

How can I even begin to capture the excitement of Saturday? There is no way that I can fully express the ecstasy, the agony, the joy, and the sheer, nail-biting excitement that we went through during Young Man's lacrosse game. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was sunny and a nice breeze was blowing to keep the players cool. As the boys warmed up, the parents shared in hushed tones the word out about the opposing team. Even though the other team called itself a 5/6 team, all the players were sixth graders. Then we learned that this team had upset one of the strongest teams in our league (one to whom our boys lost 8-5). We all agreed not to discuss this with the boys until after the game and we took our places on the sidelines trying not to look too worried.

It was more difficult to look nonchalant when we saw the size of the other team! There is one tall player on Young Man's team and he is a full head taller than the next tallest player. All of the boys on the opposing team looked as big as our tallest. From the first whistle, we could tell that the other players not only were bigger than our boys, they played a much more physical game. Still, our team managed to score the first goal. This was quickly answered, but we scored a second and a third. We would have liked for this early lead to have rattled the opposing team and it may have. They were still able to come back strongly. By the half, the score was tied 3-3. Even better, our boys were playing a remarkably clean game while the other team was often a man down with one in the penalty box.

Refreshed from their half-time break, all the boys came back ready to start the game anew. The other team was very good at forcing our boys out of bounds to force turnovers. Our boys responded by running further from the sidelines. The other team was big and strong. Our boys responded en mass to keep them from getting close to the goal. There were many long shots on goal so the balls were flying. Mr. Engineer volunteered as ball boy to get some exercise. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, our boys were down 7-4 and the parents began to think of ways to reassure bruised egos. The boys, however, were not ready to call it a day. They battled back strongly. Not only did our defense prevent any more goals, our offense racked up three in a row. Just as the final whistle blew, our boys scored the tying goal. Yes, they went into sudden death overtime for the fourth time out of six games!

The referee came out to explain the rules for overtime. We parents knew the drill: five minutes, first score wins. We did learn something new this time. After three minutes, the goals switched. As tough as that other big team was, our boys held them off. They went a full five minutes without allowing a goal! One more whistle blew and referees left the field calling it a 7-7 tie. The boys decided to play one more ball for honor. They did a Braveheart play: the goalies and one middie from each team playing for bragging rights. In this play, size did matter and the other team prevailed. Our goalie was crushed that he allowed the winning goal to be scored. We let him know in no uncertain terms that there were no losers on the field that day.

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