A regulation soccer field can vary between 65-80 yards wide and 110-120 yards long with the goal areas at each end of the rectangle. I get winded just pondering on the size, you won’t see me running around the field. The specific infraction eludes me, but the team I root for had just been given a free kick. Both teams lined up accordingly. I thought nothing much more than play on and get another point! What proceeded next took the wind out of the opposing team and drop the jaws of all watching in the process.
Her effort equated to as much as me kicking off my shoes in my home at the end of the day. That ball bent around the defenders and glided effortlessly into the corner of the net for the point. I kid you not, the kick was easily a third of the field away from the goal and maybe 15 yards at the most from being out of bounds. There was no way that the goalkeeper even had a shot at deflecting the ball; I’m not sure that a pro would have had much of a chance either.
She and her teammates have paid a price that most of us are not willing to pay. To play at and achieve on this level incorporates all things that I talk about on this opinion page and much more. I haven’t said much about motivation and teamwork. I think that you’d be hard pressed to argue that the two don’t go hand in hand for success. We have talked mindset and goals; these two aren’t missing from winning teams. There are so many elements necessary to have on your side to reach a peak of perfection. I enjoy putting them into words for you each week and looking forward to someday putting it all together. Maybe even getting it right!
This game was the second event I mentioned in the TO BE CONTINUED piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago. There are so many points fitting of penning within this column.
otivation was the one that got into my head. These Ladies were motivation personified that day. They had one goal in mind and that was to win. It was the last game of the regular season and for many, it would be their last. There was a lot on the line. I am pretty sure that the coach had given them words of encouragement before the game and had mentioned to work the plan. I am also certain that she reminded them that a win would solidify an undefeated season and put them in the playoffs.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step;” I hear strength in this Chinese proverb. The San Joaquin Delta Lady Mustangs had to start somewhere. We should all follow in their footsteps! Start something new, get out of the comfort zone, and perfect it. They have gone undefeated this season, winning their first three playoff games and are currently standing one win away from being poised to take the state title. ■
— Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email firstname.lastname@example.org