They told me this looked like the end for my beard ... (remember, I'm not shaving 'til they win).
The whistle blew, they ran back onto the pitch and the other team scored almost immediately, which took some of the wind out of their sails.
At that point, I was glad I had held my tongue during the half when I was trying to fire them up. I had considered telling them, "The team that makes the first goal in this second half will win the game."
As it turned out, I was right, We lost, 0 to 3,
It was our best game all season however, since we have received multiple clobberings.
Another first, I had my first parent of a player drama when a Dad complained about the lack of playing time for his daughter. This happens in varsity sports, of course. I'd love to play every kid every time, but in such a close game, we could not get to about a couple of our 19.
The complainer went away unhappy after our "discussion".
It's funny. When I took on this soccer coach role, I had so many teachers and coaches tell me, "Oh you poor soul, prepare for drama, coaching a girl's team is one crisis after another!"
My experience has been exactly the opposite. The ladies are ... well, ... ladies. They get along, they support each other, they are respectful to me and my two parent volunteer coaches.
Essentially, they are a class act. They are disappointed when they lose, as they should be, but that game immediately becomes an event in the past and they don't carry that burden forward.
They beam when we praise them, listen when we teach them, and try harder when we criticize them.
It's like having 19 daughters.
So ... anyhoooo, enough of that. The other close call I wanted to share is illustrated in the picture below.
At Payne's Prairie, this blue heron came stalking out of the tall bushes behind him and wandered dangerously close to a large, almost hidden alligator. I watched him for awhile, even shot some video, thinking I might catch the gator in an ambush strike.
Alas, the heron stared at the "log" for awhile as if pondering the possibilities, and then he moved off away from the gator.
So, no dramatic gator chomping a blue heron video ... sorry, maybe next time.
On the same day, this pretty little blue was stalking a narrow opening in th e emergent plants.
A gallinule was nibbling and flitting about nearby. There are so many gators in this stretch of water near the Alachua Sinks that it must be a risky place to be a plump, juicy, water chicken.
These pics were taken about a month ago. Between soccer, school, and lots of grey weather lately, I haven't got OUT THERE much, but Christmas break has arrived ... finally!
Something is bound to happen.