It’s so nice that the drought seems to be over or at least improving. We’ve had a lot of rain this season, compared to almost none last Fall. But it sure would be nice if it rained earlier in the week. Lately it seems like it is always raining Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – wreaking havoc on the match schedules of leagues across North Carolina.

Anyway – we had a makeup match scheduled for Sunday, which had a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast. But when we left town, it was sunny and warm. When we arrived at the soccer park our match was at, the clouds were omninous and thunder could be heard far off occasionally. As we warmed up, coaches and referees watched and listened for signs of more thunderstorm activity, only to have the skies open up and a pretty hefty toll of thunder roll through. So we delayed the start 30 minutes and everyone headed for the cars while it rained. Obviously, the players scattered into whatever cars/vans had the best movies, DVD players, snacks, etc. Lunachicks in groups and idle time on their hands. What possibly could go wrong?

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As I’m in my truck, trying to get my laptop to link up with my cellphone so I could look at some radar images (why yes, I am a geek), my team manager knocks on my window.

Manager: (in a somewhat tense voice) Do you have John’s cellphone number?

Me: Not handy – I think it’s in my coaches bag. Why?

Manager: I think Julie just locked Linda and Mary­ in the trunk of John’s car and I’m not sure where he is.

Player names changed to protect the, ahem, innocent.

Turns out when the rain started pouring, two of my players proceeded to get into the trunk and the 3rd closed it. Thankfully it was a new car with folding rear seats and an emergency release handle in the trunk. But it gave our team manager a skipped heartbeat or two. The girls, of course, had a ball hiding out in a trunk while it rained. In the end we had to postpone the match because the storm just kept up. Bummer!

The week before this was even funnier…

Our team recently played one of the toughest teams in our division. After getting picked apart by this team in our first ever league match as a team, 9-0, the Lunachicks were really excited to play them again and prove they were a team to be reckoned with. The evening we finally managed to play (it had been rescheduled twice), it was expected to be rather cool. But as the teams took the field, it was sunny and warm. A number of players had their Under Armour on to combat the expected cold, and a few had on even more.

As the match got underway, the Lunachicks were doing a great job. This team we faced is strong overall, but one player in particular develops most of their scoring chances. She played mostly in the middle, so our center defender was tasked with marking the threat. A few minutes into the match, I notice she is wiggling her upper body around. She apparently had decided it was way too hot (she had on Under Armour, a long sleeve T-Shirt, and her jersey). So she was trying to extract herself from the middle layer – the long sleeve T-Shirt – and had gotten stuck. So here we have our defender tasked with marking our opponent’s most dangerous player, and she’s trying to wiggle out of a shirt sandwiched between UA and her jersey. Needless to say it was pretty funny watching her try to defend with one arm wedged inside her shirt and jersey, and once any threat had passed, continue to try and wiggle out of the mess she’d gotten herself in.

To make matters worse, our opponent didn’t lose the ball much, so substitution opportunities were few and far between. So we watched in amusement and some concern that she’d let the attacker get by for a few minutes before we finally got a chance to sub. I think I may have yelled SUB! a bit louder than I usually do. The parents were rolling with laughter. Lets just say the player and I had a rather pointed discussion about match focus and when it was appropriate to try and change one’s clothes.The pitch in the middle of a match NOT being one of them.

This has been another chapter in Tales From The Lunachick Fringe :)

On a serious/positive note – the girls played very well and held this opponent to only three goals. Only one team in our division has held them to less this season. But we played a bit scared and instead of possessing the ball in the backfield and bringing it forward to create scoring chances, we kicked and cleared too often. But it was an accomplishment for them to make it so difficult for such a strong team (some of their recent results were 6-0 and 11-0 wins) to score. Great job ladies!