Bellevue 0-1 Mercer Island
One of the many reasons that I love soccer is that it is a sport that reflects the struggles of life. Most of the time, working hard and good preparation will lead to success, but sometimes, and more often than in other sports, soccer can seem cruelly unfair. Just like life. Anyone who has unfairly been passed over for a promotion, fallen ill the day before your AP exam, or had their home flooded by a burst pipe knows that life can sometimes be painful and difficult. Unpredictably unfair.
And tonight we know what that feels like. Previous losses this year have been mostly self-inflicted. Little mistakes or playing poorly. Not against Mercer Island. We dominated. We had 16 attempts on goal, MI had 3. We had 9 corners, they had one. We won most 50/50 challenges. We battled. We fought. We created. And yet we still lost.
It happens. But it is cruel.
To be fair, the MI goal was beautiful. It was a sweet strike that found the upper upper right corner of our goal on a first touch in only the 5th minute. The kind of goal that you applaud even if you are on the receiving end. But it was completely against the run of play, and the only shot MI would have the entire first half. They added two more shots in the second, one off of our post after we were pressing hard for an equalizer late in the game, and that was about it. The rest of the 75 minutes were played in the MI half and yet we just couldn't break-through. Although, we likely scored the equalizer early in the first half off of a corner that most of our players claim clearly crossed the goal-line, but the linesman (which to his credit, was in the perfect position to make the call even though I think he was obstructed from seeing the actual result) thought the ball hadn't fully crossed the line. And his opinion is the only one that counts. And sometimes calls go that way. It's just part of our sport. Later, we hit the crossbar. Twice. And the MI goalkeeper, probably the best we have faced all year, had a great game too.
All credit to the MI players and coaches. They found a way to get a result in a very tough atmosphere when we had an enthusiastic crowd of students and parents cheering us on. They are organized and well-drilled. But we were the better team, and yet, they can point to the scoreboard at the end of the game. They got the result. Soccer, like life, can occasionally be non-sensical and cruel. Just like it can be non-sensical and beautiful too. But tonight we got a lesson on the former. And just like in life when we don't get the promotion, grade, or test score we think we earned, or come home to find a flooded basement from a burst pipe, we need to just keep moving forward and have faith that our continued hard work will eventually translate into better results.
Next week we have LW and Interlake. Both tough opponents and we need results in both games. We are playing catch up in the Kingco race this year, but we can never give up. Never. Our goals for the season remain the same. We just might need to win a few more must-win-games to get there.
I have mentioned this before, but I will miss the Interlake game with a family conflict; so Coach Kay will lead the girls when we travel to Interlake to play the Saints next Thursday. I will return on the following Monday to run training.
I got more players, but not everyone, into the MI game. And every single one of them contributed during their time on the field. I'm proud of our team; Kiley was simply inspirational. A target on social media before the game in tones that were quite simply rude, immature and inappropriate, Kiley came to play and she flat out battled; Delaney was a warrior in the middle of the park, her physicality and toughness was outstanding in a rivalry game that often comes down to raw effort; our backline was stout, Annika, Caylee, Claire, Sky, Court, Isabelle and Mia were strong in the tackle and unrelenting in their pressure; AnaJ, Carly, Del and Audrey held down the middle with grit and determination; while our up-field strike force of CarlieG, Jo, Kiley, Izzy and Ellie W harried and harassed the MI backline all night. Again, I couldn't be more proud of our effort tonight.