last night was to be my last competitive soccer game ever.
i've played this whole season horribly. both physically and mentally i have not be up to my or anyone else's standards. sure, my teammates are nice, i can run out there and act like i know what i'm doing, but when thinking over the season, i could think of very few (less that four) instances where i felt like i was competent. basically i was running around trying to get in the way, and failing at that.
as much as i appreciate the coaches i've had throughout my 30 so years of soccer, it recently occurred to me that the level of coaching i'd had wasn't exactly great. tactically or positionally, i've learned more in my post high school career than i ever did throughout high school. where to run, how to space, all of that - it was all very elementary until recently. it's still elementary, actually, but at least now I think i know why i should do certain things.
when i showed up to the field last evening, a strange thing happened - i warmed up and felt good.
every week i'd show up, run around a bit, and just feel like a stumbling pile of bricks. but yesterday, i just felt... comfortable.
so when our playoff game started, i took up position in defensive midfield, settled in, and just did everything i wanted to do. i forced the opponent to his/her right foot (which is where 90% of players are going). i made the quick short pass. i won the ball. it was weird.
our team has not been particularly good this season. we've had fun. but as we approached the later minutes of the game, we were ahead 1-0.
and then our goalie cleared the ball into an oncoming striker's face. it went back over the goalie and into the net. 1-1.
with about 2 minutes left, we went up again. 2-1. as we worked very hard those last two minutes, i felt good. i was happy when the whistle blew. 2-1. we win.
and then we were informed we had to play another game. against a team of college players. we were also now short of players.
we borrowed some players from the team we had just beaten. we packed in the box. we played steady defense. we didn't really bother pushing up the field. at half it was 0-0.
we were surprised.
second half. same as the first. 0-0. extra time. and then they scored.
we played out the whole extra period (just 3 minutes because of oncoming darkness). we had a minute left. we pushed everyone up the field. our goalie actually scored the tying goal. it was way more exciting than it should have been. and then the whistle blew. penalty kicks.
i knew i wanted one.
i took the first. i scored.
unfortunately i don't think anyone else from our team did. so we lost.
but fuck, that was fun.
so much for retirement.