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griff

Div5: Fairfax United 2, Martians FC 1

My Division 5 season kicked off on March 13th. This is a backdated post since I hadn't got around to getting a blurb out about the game.

SO.

I'm not close to game shape. I'm heavy, clothes fit tight, not very mobile, can't run for very long. Just plain out of shape. The rest of my team is in much better standing. Of course, it was looking grim as to the turnout that we were going to have. However, by game time, we had one extra girl substitute, and a guy sub not too long after that. Better than most nights, that's for sure.

The team we played was a brand new team to the league, although they were a large combination of players from other teams I've played against before, with noted Div 3 and 4 players. However, for the first half, we were able to hang and even dictate the play for stretches at a time. On my team, we have a new girl who joined who is crazy fast and skilled and everything I want in a forward to play up top with me. So the passing was pretty decent for our team up front.

We took the lead about 15 minutes in. As Alex was bringing the ball up field, the other team forgot about me on the right side. I took a pass onside and ran unobstructed towards goal. I was going to shoot the entire time, and let one fly that got some air and went over the outstretch arms of the diving goaltender. Goal scorer's goal. That should go in every time.

We took a 1-0 lead into the 2nd half. First 20 minutes of this half was about the same as the 1st half. We had our chances, bringing the ball up, getting breaks and a shot here and there. Our 2nd goal came off of a sort of broken play. I forget the specifics, but it was Alex and Stephanie on the left side of the field, and after some passing, the ball squirted free across the top of the 18 yard box. I bolted from my position towards the ball, with all intentions of striking it with my left foot, for better or worse. Turns out I was able to place the perfect shot into the right side of the net past the keeper's outstretched arms a second time. It was a fluid, continuous motion with my leg, connecting my foot to the ball like it was meant to be. Two goals to start a season? I couldn't ask for much more than that!

Hell, I even had a handful of other good chances. One came off of a corner kick that I half-volleyed over the top of the bar, not by much. I also had a couple breaks where it was 1v1 and I just wasn't fast enough at the end to get a shot in before their defender caught up to me. I also had one break were I did get a shot, but I was in too close to the goalie and he was easily able to deflect it away. That would have been the icing on the cake.

Instead, the last 20 minutes of the game was an onslaught of offense from the opposing team. Run after run, shot after shot. There had to have been 6-7 shots our goaltender came up with that were 5-star saves. Absolutely all-out goaltending. It was an amazing sight. Especially from my view, as I pretty much did nothing more than take up space near the midfield line with very limited movement. Even though my mind said I was good to go, my body was beat and didn't have much effort left in it. They managed to put a ball in our net on a break during one of the few times we didn't have enough people back on defense. Our D held up so well, and managed to disrupt the other team enough so they didn't have too many clear shots on net. The last 10 minutes was a scramble like no other, and even in the final minute, we were all flailing to get a corner kick out of our area and block all their attempts from within the 18 yard box. But we held on to get the W and start our season on the right foot.

I give credit to all my teammates for their effort. I know I need to step up and do a bit more towards the end of the game, because this one was much closer than it had to be, and I know I could have contributed more. I need to work on that. But I'm happy with our group, and I hope we get everyone to come out consistently. We could end up having our best season yet if we get the turnout every game.

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griff

May 2011

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