BHS 4-0 Sammamish
Ali Kreiger is a long-time player for the most successful and competitive women's soccer team on the planet: the USA women's national team. Although undeniably an incredible soccer player, Ali's soccer career has had numerous ups and downs. In fact, before the 2019 World Cup after more than a decade of starting for national teams that won both the Olympics and World Cup, Ali hadn't been called up to the National team for over 25 months. But she got an opportunity just before the tournament, and amazingly earned a spot on the 24 player roster. Several months later Ali was on the field as our women beat the Netherlands 2-0 to win another world title. When asked about her tumultuous path, Ali said,
"You can control two things: your effort and your attitude about anything."
I thought about this quote after watching our Varsity team finish off a comprehensive and stylish 4-0 victory over the Sammamish Totems last night. Soccer can be fickle. Sometimes your touch is just "on" and the game is easy. Sometimes it feels like someone filled your boots with lead. Sometimes you start, sometimes you don't. Sometimes the referee decides he doesn't like your aggressive style of play, and gives you very loud warnings that echo in an empty stadium. There are so many variables that you can't control.
Except your effort and your attitude. You can always control that.
Last night, every player on the roster gave me their best effort. And it showed on the field. We won every loose ball. We tracked back on defense. If a player overlapped to join the offense, another player provided cover and balance. We relentlessly pressed the ball after losing possession until we won it back. Or scored. It was good pressing by Mo that led to the opening goal at the 15 minute mark, as Chloe jumped on a wayward back pass and calmly finished to give us a well-deserved lead. Fifteen minutes after that, the lead doubled as Lily set-up Maeva on the left-wing and her confident long-range effort found the far right corner of the goal. 2-0 Bellevue. Kendall got on the scoresheet in the 45th minute after another glorious team goal, Gaby sliding a composed square ball to Halle who set up the score with another simple and decisive forward pass that Kendall drilled into the back of the net. The final tally was the result of an unselfish pass from Audrey in front of goal, setting up our left-winger with the simplest of finishes and our fourth goal of the evening.
It was a great team performance. With composed and quick-passing possession all over the field. But I was proudest of the effort and attitude that was on display all over the field, and off the field too, as players actively encouraged their teammates throughout the game. We control what we can control. And games are so much more fun when everyone on a roster has each other's back, and giving their best effort.
Next week we have Interlake at home, before we travel to the island to face our friends in maroon and white.