This I Believe

Taylor - South Elgin, Illinois
Entered on January 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

I Believe in Soccer

I believe in soccer. Soccer is my natural way of life. I would never trade the long school nights or weekends for anything. If I work my hardest, I will never be second best.

My life and my family’s life revolves around soccer day in and day out. Everyday I wake up, go to school, and always look forward to soccer practice or my games. When I have nothing planned for the day, I like to take a little bit of time to relax and, kick my sister’s butt playing FIFA 2006 on Xbox.

Everyone comes to my soccer games including my neighbors sometimes. When I have huge tournaments out of state like in Washington D.C, or Florida, my relatives often come to watch me. This feels like winning the because, it is really special that everyone supports me and is proud of what I am doing.

I have been playing soccer ever since I was four. It just stuck and became my first love. It has always been there for me whenever I didn’t feel good, or when I just felt mad at the world. When I am sick or mad, I often go to the attic and play it on Xbox. It takes my off of whatever was really annoying me or my headache. I can always take my anger out on the soccer ball too. Kicking it as hard as I possibly can always takes away stress and anger.

My parents love coming to watch me play. Even my sister and brother have really gotten into it. My sister also plays soccer and, she always comes to my games. Sometimes I even hear her talking to her friends about me and how good I am. This is amazing to know your sister kind of looks up to you, and wants to follow in your footsteps.

One moment I will always remember is when I was little I would always lay awake at night dreaming of getting that full ride scholarship to the University of North Carolina or winning that National Championship. I would sit on my bed trying to juggle my miniature ball. All of my friends use to tell me that I would never get to North Carolina or win a National Championship. Only one in a million kids would ever win a National championship or get that scholarship.

However last July that became a reality for me in my life. I was the only girl my age as a keeper to win a National Soccer Championship in the nation. With my traveling competitive soccer team.

In June of 2006, we lost State Cup in penalty kicks and, being devastated that I might have to wait another year. Even though we were into regionals on a wild card for getting second in the MRL League. I thought “Wow! We couldn’t win a big game against our rivals Team Chicago. How are we going to beat other top teams if we have so much problems not playing well enough against them.” But, at regionals we shined winning the semi-finals game with a score of six-to-zero at the end of the first half against FC Blast out of Ohio.

In the finals we had got a one-to-zero lead early on. Only to have them score on which should have been a foul seconds before halftime. During the second half our team scored again and I made a huge save to preserve the win. My soccer team was going to Nationals! I had never been so happy in my life. Winning that game was a huge victory and confidence boost for me.

On the bus to Nationals in great old Iowa our team was talking about how we were going to do everything to get into the finals and win. This was no exaggeration. I most definitely thought it could be done. We won our first and second games after a rain delay during the second game. That guaranteed that we were through to the finals because no one else had won a game. In our third game we took it lightly not to waste energy but some Dallas Texans fans had other ideas for our game against PDA.

We had given up a goal late and if PDA held on to win we would play them in the finals. The Texans were winning too however, they had to win and have PDA lose or tie to play us in the finals. So the Texans parents came and started to cheer for us. Trying not to waste energy we just played it around the back line to waste time and we could care less about winning or tying. Soon the Texan parents figured out what we were doing and a parent ran onto the field to assault our left back Chelsea Cline. Before he got to her though the PDA coaches had stopped him. He was taken away in handcuffs and we were escorted to our bus at the end of the game. I felt kind of shaken up thinking that could have been someone after me. I was the closest to the parents, I even had my back to them. It’s not how you would expect grown adults to act over a simple game.

In the finals we sent a message to PDA saying it was fluke you beat us because, we beat them four-to-zero easily in the final. In the second half they didn’t even touch the ball with an exception of about three times. As the final whistle blew, I realized anything can happen. All I have to do is work my hardest and give it my all. If you can do that you can do whatever no matter what anyone else says.

Being a keeper brings me so much of my happiness. It never gets much better than going to practice and sliding in the mud, yelling at people for no real reason, and making amazing saves that other people only dream that they could do. Feeling like you have accomplished something so much bigger than just an A in a class is well worth a few bruises and scrapes.

Late school nights are always the best because I get to go out and play the best sport in the world under the lights. Doing all my school homework on the way there, playing, than driving home at ten o’clock doesn’t sound like fun but, is to me. Especially because I just got my driver’s permit.

Going to practice is a way to escape everything else going on in my busy schedule. For example if I basically failed a test or something. It completely takes my mind off it so I don’t dwell on it the rest of the day. Seeing all my teammates is like one big family reunion, on the field we yell and push each other. Off the field we are like sisters and, are always there for, when needed. We always have a good time and make the best of things. On weekends sometimes we have a huge sleepover because we can’t ever get enough of each other. We always make each other laugh and have a good time.

To be honest I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t have soccer or, the team that I am a big part of right now. It is really hard to imagine. If I didn’t have soccer I don’t think I would really want to go to college or care about my school grades as much as I do now.

I believe in soccer. Anything can happen as long as you put your mind to it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dream simply will never come true. They would be lying to you because anything is possible if you have the right attitude.