"Oh Crap! I duffed it! Quick shield the ball and hope my teammate gets it first. There's Evan, phew, ok, move to get a pass. Dribble. There's Scott open in the middle but with four guys near, not good. Hold, dribble. Scott is making a run to the wall, pass it now. Run to goal. Scott's at the wall with a defender, wait here comes the ball off the wall, quick one-time it with the right foot. . . GOAL! YES! GAME OVER!"
That pretty much describes the 15 seconds of overtime as it played out in my head last Monday night. See for the last couple of months I have been playing with some friends in the neighborhood. Monday night was the first night of the playoffs. We had battled hard for 44 minutes (yes 22 minutes a half) and did not have a winner. 3-3 going into a five minute sudden death overtime. We won the toss and I had the kickoff. The rest is described above.
I cannot properly express the adrenaline rush I have felt since that moment. To score the game winning goal in overtime of a playoff game really has no description. You play the game you make choices and hope you get the chance on your foot to end the game. It happened to me and let me tell you I was sky-high afterward.
Now we wouldn't have been in that situation if we hadn't come together as a team and played our best game of the year. A couple of weeks ago this same team gave us an 8-3 drubbing. A couple of weeks before that we had beaten them 3-2. This was a matchup of similar teams. However we had to play our best in order to beat them. We played team defense and team offense. We built each other up, communicated and did the things that good teams do. It was a night to remember.
We also had our largest cheering section of the year and my three oldest children were able to attend (even though Cheryl and I had a long discussion on whether or not to let them). I'm glad they were there. It is rare that they get to see me play the game I love. I'm happy that they also enjoyed the game and understood what my goal meant. A couple days later my oldest said to me "Dad, I'm so glad I got to see you play soccer." I can't tell you all the emotions that brought out in me.
A great game with a great end and witnessed by my children, now that's priceless.