Winning a game is a great feeling to have, but it is not necessarily the best thing. That’s why I believe that winning isn’t everything. Yes winning is a great feeling but playing your hardest and to your full potential, to me, is greater than winning. I have had a lot of experience with winning and sometimes losing. All of my experience in soccer has shown me that I enjoy a close game and sometimes enjoy losing to a team who is far superior.
My travel team, West Pines United, rarely loses to teams in South Florida. We are ranked second in the state and we are 20th in the nation. We have soccer games every weekend and have won 7 games in a row. The last game we played was on March 8, 2008, and we won 5-0.
When I watched a video of the soccer match that was just played, I saw my team win 5-0. I saw how my team didn’t look like a team. We looked like a bunch of players running around the field being ball hogs. My team is not used to losing games and as usual we just walk off the field without celebration. But the one thing we were not used to is losing big tournaments.
On December 29th, 2007, West Pines played in a college recruiting tournament called the Tampa Bay Sun Bowl. As usual my team won the first and second round of the tournament. We played a team named Brevard in the semifinals of the tournament. Brevard was ranked #1 in the state before the tournament. This was going to be a preview of the State Championship. In the first minute of the game, #23, Charles, scored the opening goal for Brevard. My coach was furious about Charles burning our right defender. He told me to mark Charles because our right defender couldn’t do the job. For the next 40 minutes until halftime, Charles did not touch the ball. Within the last 10 minutes of the game, our star forward put in 2 goals to make it 2-1 in West Pines favor. In the last 2 minutes of the game, Brevard’s forward, Ryan, scored a goal to tie 2. So the game went into overtime. In the twenty minutes of overtime, it was a blood shedding battle. When the referee blew the whistle to signal that overtime was over, both coaches knew it was time for penalty kicks. Both teams were nervous and wanted to win. It was 2-2 in penalties and the final kicker from each team had to shoot. West Pines missed his shot while Brevard made theirs. Brevard won the game 3-2 against West Pines. We were stunned how we lost this game. After the game I had some college representatives approach me and tell me how well I played. They said this game looked like a team effort. I thought to myself, this is why I believe that winning isn’t everything it’s how you play that counts.
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