Nov. 7, 2006
It's hard to explain the emotions as the clock counted down on not only the last game of the season but for me and four others, the last game of our lives. You think about the first time you tied up your cleats and laugh because of course, you got put on the pink team. Dozens of five year olds, just like yourself, dance around the ball confused as to which direction they should be going.
You have memories of that injury that ruined your season or the game you blamed yourself for losing. Remember when your club team won State Cup? How about that MVP trophy from when you were 12 that still sits on your dresser at home? You are touched as you look at the crowd and realize that the family that has watched you grow, as a soccer player and as a young woman is right there with you. Fighting back the tears, you hug a teammate who has been on that four year rollercoaster belong side you. You don't cry because you lost the game - you cry because you are moving away from something that has shaped you into the person that you are. A person that appreciates the support they were given in order to succeed and someone that cherishes the relationships that this game has created for them. Our best friends should be those who have seen us at our highest and lowest moments and still choose to stay by our side - in my opinion, the same definition as a teammate.
So I've spent the past three months thanking our coaches, our facilities crew, our fans (mostly our parents), our trainer, our laundry staff, our cleaning staff and others but I've never had a chance to thank those who are essentially the most important people in my soccer life; my teammates.
Waking up and knowing that I'm going to be surrounded by a group of people who can make me smile, regardless of the situation, is a gift that kept giving with every new recruiting class. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for every bus ride recital, every push from behind up arguably the worst place in the world (Dog Park), every obnoxious cheer while we watched the boys, every team dinner, every locker room dance party, every inch worm and "supine scorpion hi-flex," every crossing and finishing drill (and there were a lot), every win, every loss, every smile and every tear. Please know that I am forever changed by what each and every one of you has done for me as a player, but more importantly, as a person.
So for a final to my girls: the days go by fast and the ups and downs are what gives us depth. Take every chance you get to be the best player and person you can - but always remember that it's just a game. I passed down my armband but never hesitate to come to me. I love each and every one of you! Keep getting stuck in! (Untz Untz.)