The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Girl power

Rachael Conlin Levy

The Slow-Cooked Sentence is doing a double post today because we just can’t get enough of soccer around here. Round 2 features some fine sports writing by my husband, Marcel Levy, as he gives a blow-by-blow account of the Chili Peppers’ path to victory.

Photo and text by Marcel Levy

There were four teams in the U11 category. The other three teams seemed younger, or at least shorter. The Peppers’ first game was Saturday morning against Nevada Elite, which is a competitive team. Nicer uniforms, matching duffel bags all lined up in a row, and a coach with a British accent. A tough game, but the Peppers eked out a 2-1 win against a really focused and skilled team. They really targeted Jessie — at one point it seemed like they were playing American football out there.

In the afternoon came the match against the Panthers, who seemed to me like a swarm of angry little hornets. They hustled like nobody’s business, and had some amazing defenders. They scored early, and then in the second half the Peppers scored to tie. Sigh of relief all around.

Sunday’s early, early morning match against the Pride was looking pretty good even before it started. Both Nevada Elite and the Panthers had crushed the Pride the day before, and they didn’t have any subs on Sunday. I still think they played really well, and even managed to score on the Peppers. But still, they got crushed 4-1. One of their keepers was hilarious — the game had barely started and she already started yelling at her coach to switch.

So after that game Lou says we definitely have one more match, unless something weird happens in that morning’s Elite-Panthers match-up. They tie 1-1, so later that day the Peppers face the Panthers again for the U-11 Sagebrush Friendship Tournament championship….

Things start out well. Jessie scores twice in the first half, with these amazing chip shots that sail right over the keeper’s head and into the goal. Just perfect and almost impossible to stop, even if the keeper hadn’t been so short. The Pepper’s parents were really fun to watch — especially Baylee‘s (the keeper) dad, who yells out “You’re a wall! A chick wall!” several times. Much mirth and merriment during halftime, and the only way to explain the two Panther goals that they score in the first five minutes of the second half is that the girls got a bit cocky and lazy.

The score is 2-2, with most of the half left to play. You can tell the mood has changed. The anthers have all their spirit back, and the Peppers are focused again. It didn’t seem to me like either side dominated the other. There was lots of action near both goals — I was stationed near the Panthers’ goal, but I could hear some very loud stops by Baylee all the way across the field. Samantha, Gillian, Lauren and Annie are constantly in action to keep them away from the goal. Jessie and Sarah kept trying to get a shot in, but the Panthers’ defenders were all over them.

Then Jessie scores with another chip shot. The Peppers’ parents explode. But the ref invalidates it — turns out the Panthers’ goal kick that started it off hadn’t been legit, and no one heard the whistle. Back to nail-biting.

But now you can tell the Peppers are putting on more pressure. The midfield is out-hustling and out-playing them, and the ball is down near the Panthers’ goal more often than not. And then with a minute left to play, Sarah nails it and scores. The parents totally go nuts — I should really have been taking pictures of them at that point. Panthers kick off, but shortly after that the ref calls the game, and it’s down to the pavilion to get the trophy.

2 responses to “Girl power”

  1. yeah, that's great re-living it! It makes me a little tense again. It would have been really great to get a pic of us parents!


  2. Louzilla says:

    Chili Pepper Power! What a fun weekend!

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