Joyce picked up her new mouth guard at the dentist’s office on Tuesday, participated in soccer practice on Wednesday, and played the entire game yesterday... mouth guard in place.
I was so very proud of her. To go through something like that and still be able to play as aggressively as she did... I know I could not have done that. Not even as a high school senior, when I thought I could handle anything.
She had so many saves, I lost count. She didn’t let one in at all during the 1st half.
She would run into the fray, no problem.
And that girl can kick a soccer ball.
Near the end of the game, though, I think she was starting to feel the pressure... Also, we were ahead something like 4 or 5 to zero, so the coach put in a lot of 2nd stringers... and our defense suffered. Suddenly there were 2 opponents at the goal and only Joyce... they scored then and again another time in a similar situation. Ended the game 7-2. That's a good win. We're tied for 1st now in our conference.
After that 2nd goal that got past her, Joyce had a very strong reaction and my heart stopped there for a second... I thought she was hurt, but she was ok, just extremely frustrated with herself. Prior to her injury, she had only let in 3 goals in 7 games, and those were against better skilled opponents than the team they played yesterday. After the game, she came walking across the field with a face like thunder. I didn’t say a word until we were in the car and well on our way down the road. She didn’t want to hear me say how proud I was of her, and she did want to hear me say what a great job she did. She didn’t want to hear me describe the comments I heard some of the parents make about how great she was doing, especially after what happened. Finally, though, because I can be way more stubborn than either one of my kids, she listened. I told her that the first game back after such an injury as she had, one that included so much blood and so many stitches, was bound to be the most difficult. After not playing or practicing at all for 2 weeks, she couldn’t expect to make a comeback as if she’d never been out.
The talk helped, but so did stopping at the corner store and getting a great big bunch of junk food and a big bottle of rootbeer to wash it all down...
She truly did do a great job, and I captured a couple of her many, many saves that game as short video clips... see the steal here and the smack here...