In the van on the way home, Hae Rae Kim, (who asks that we call her ‘Haley’ which is how her name sounds in Korean instead of calling her ‘Hairy’ which is how most Americans pronounce it.) taught inquiring minds the Korean alphabet, how to pronounce Korean vowels (there’s 16 of them, and they don’t look like ours) and some great phrases we could use next game.
After dinner we ate ice cream at a place where all the workers sung with each scoop and all the customers (that was us) danced with each lick.
For dinner we had burritos, a first for Hae Rae from South Korea.
For the final goal, Hae Rae, who had spent a lot of time on the bench this year, ran hard towards the goalie (as instructed) once a ball was passed into the area. She saw Amanda Williams cross the ninth perfect ball of the game into the danger zone; she made the space between the ball and the goalie get smaller, she was close enough to see the back of the net, and she saw fast as lightning Serena Shah coming in. The ball appeared on Hae Rae’s feet just inches away from the keeper. Hae Rae touched the ball, the keeper moved to stop it, and Serena jammed in the side of her foot to push the ball across the goal line and bring the score to an exciting 4-0 in the last fifteen minutes of the game. It looked like both Owls touched the ball at the same time. It was a beautiful thing to ponder.
Ten minutes earlier LoLo Kriel, Hae Rae and Serena Shah had put together perfect one touch passes to set up an attack and send sweet shot after shot towards their goalie. Before that, Hae Rae, Lizzy Doyle and Serena crossed the eyes of the defense by passing the ball around them in perfect circles. Ellie Amani was playing stopper stopping up the attacks and stepping up her passes and stomping on their egos. Sadie Adams did a stint at outside mid and defended and attacked and made cute remarks to the ref so he wouldn’t miss Christy Barron. Lauren Cohen was tearing up the midfield—attacking, defending, passing out to the wings, battling with their midfielders, bumping folks off the ball, sliding at defenders to get a cross off to our forwards. Lizzy Doyle won a goal kick on her chest; LoLo Kriel stopped one with her head, then got knocked over, did a full roll and came up again.
In that second half, Serena took three other shots on goal, Amanda had four shots, Laura Cohen made the goalie stop three, while Ellie intercepted three, Emily Holzer intercepted four, blocked one with her belly from going into our goal and made great clears to set up more attacks. Ashley Conley fronted her players, beat her players, schooled her players and chased down her players. Her players got really really tired of her, but we looooove her.
Mel Janarelli gave Lauren Bangasser a break from sweeping after giving Amy Woychowski (on the sidelines leaning on a crutch) a break from stopping, after jogging up and sending the ball to her buddies on the front line, then jogging back, then jogging up, then jogging back, etc. etc. Mel was everywhere AND she cleared a ball with her head which really tends to hurt due to those thick and knarley dread locks, but Mel will do anything for the team.
Rachel Schonberg stopped one shot on goal in the second half, and Amy Witt, after being asked nicely by the assistant coach at half time to please stop passing, to win the ball as she always does, make a few moves, throw a few fakes, beat a player, and take a shot on goal. She was promised a star by her name on the stat sheet if she scored. So six minutes into the second half, she won the ball like she always does, beat one player and looked up for a pass as usual, thought about that shiny star by her name, beat another player, took on another player, beat her, shot and scored–bringing the Hooters to a much more comfortable 3-0. Now we can BRING IN The BENCH AND SEE WHAT THEY GOT! (see above if you missed the bench details.) And Amy Action, if we knew you needed a personal invitation to score your first goal of the season, we would have asked you a long time ago. She claimed she didn’t know you got stars, or she would have scored earlier.
In the first half we took a few less shots than the second half –19 instead of 24—but had more corners. Twenty seven minutes into the first half, Shannon Waldron took one of our six corner kicks and Christy Barron, figuring she might as well score now since she was already down there and everything and there was no sense running half the way down the field, winning the ball and bringing it back up for a shot on goal—Barron just went on and stuck her little size 6 new blue and white cletes on Shannon’s cross from the other side of the field and scored, bringing the score to a little more palatable 2-0.
Shannon didn’t just sit around and wait for corner kicks or free kicks; she took four shots, she sent the ball to Amanda who took two shots, or sent the ball to Psycho Thunder Gaskin who took three, one of which went in 13 minutes into the game which made us very happy because those Salem girls were making us play sloppier than we have in the past. But we started figuring out how to play the little rascals that marked all our forwards with two people, then sent in a third when we got the ball; once Sarah got us on the score board, we started remembering how to play pretty soccer.
Lauren Bangasser was and is, and will be till we can find somebody that good to be back there– the momma of the backfield. She opens her arms, tells us when to step, when to hold, when to walk away, when to stay (wait a minute, that’s a country and western song.)
The beginning whistle blew just as Stacey started singing the chorus of a Phish song.
Upon arriving at the Salem College field in Winston Salem, after the freshmen and sophmores got off the bus, (we don't have any seniors this year) Coachenos told the six juniors who have been playing together for three years that if they want to go to Nationals, even though it will be cold in Michigan in November, we had, they had, to get the Owls to win this game. No pressure. Just win.