As with most things in life, one must crawl before walking. Game 1 of the tour was a testimony to this. The first quarter was quite staggering, and the Sydney Women’s football team (the Shamrocks) not only gave us a wonderful introduction to how footy is truly played [where the sport originated], but they also broke many of the preconceived notions about what it takes to be a quality footballer.
While we were certainly the “fitter/leaner” team, they showed us the many virtues of skill and experience over speed and fitness. Their game reflected that of an orchestra rather than a solo performance. With many contributors moving symbiotically to create opportunities, their speedy hand-passes and positioning taught us that all of the running in the world won’t necessarily conquer a quick hand-pass that can travel the length of the ground faster than our fastest player. Great positioning equals great timing, and great timing equals efficiency, which is what ultimately overcame us in the end, even in the last quarter when the U.S. Freedom started to wear down the Sydney Shamrocks.
The final scored ended up being Yanks -18 and Aussies -33. A random onlooker might consider this to be a disappointing loss, but I can speak for myself and perhaps some of my teammates in saying that this was an unforgettable experience that resulted in a steep learning curve. Gone are the days of blow out wins. We’ve now entered the “Big Girls” game, and I’ve never walked away from a loss with the depth of intense emotions that I experienced on this brisk afternoon: a cauldron mix –so to speak-- of devastation, enjoyment, enlightenment, despair and hope. I suppose this is indeed analogous to the toddler who takes her first step and stumbles. She may cry or she may laugh, but in the end, she’ll learn to walk and eventually run.
Stats for the aficionados:
Score- USA 2 6 18 Sydney 4 9 33
Goals- Siobhon McHale, Kelli Modica Behinds- Jenny Sarbacker, Tina Arend, Rushed (1), & Judith Stein (3).
Bests- Courtney Church, Kelli Modica, Denielle Beilfuss, Jenny Sarbacker, & Monica Robbins
Nikki Nicole Peoples email@example.com