We played our last fall season match against a tough division opponent that was undefeated, hoping to reverse a recent slide and come away with a win. Well, didn’t work out that way by any stretch, but there were a couple funny moments I figured I’d share.

One of our defenders has a rocket of a kick – good thing to have for clearing, though she’s also scored from mid field more than once this season. Normally she works very hard to possess the ball and bring it forward, but we were down by a few goals and the girls were playing frustrated. Yet they showed they can still have a sense of humor. This defender cleared a ball out of bounds hard in frustration … sending the ball right towards her Mom’s head. As the other team went to get the ball, the player, with a HUGE grin, danced over to our parent sideline and with the appropriate hand motions said ‘You all may want to move back a bit!’ then turned and danced away. Given the current mood of the match – very funny. Her sister had her moment as well when her father, who you NEVER hear on the sidelines, shouted something or other as everyone’s frustration mounted. She was so surprised she stopped in her tracks and said ‘Daaaaaaaaaad!!! Oh my gosh!’ or something to that effect. Priceless.

Needless to say, we got beaten handily. We have a great group of girls with lots of foot skills, which is great. But they completely forgot to pass and tried to play 1v1 the entire match. Against another team that does pass – doesn’t work to well. So I explained to the girls after the match that passing was one of the foundations of soccer, if you can’t pass – you can’t play. All the foot skills in the world won’t help you if you don’t pass. Sort of like having the fastest race car in a race and having no tires. Not going to do you much good. Maybe not the best analogy, but hey – it’s NASCAR country here.

By the time the other coaches and I reached my truck with all the gear, many of the players had already left and were well on their way home. We all were pretty bummed because we hadn’t just lost, we’d given up and our opponent decided to play keep away for the last 10-15 minutes. One of those matches that as a coach you are just bummed about, trying to figure out what to do next or what went wrong.

As I’m packing up the truck, my cellphone rings and it’s one of my players, who is giggling yet trying to sound serious and manages to say:

Hey Coach! We just passed this huge billboard for Discount Tire! On your way home can you go there and pickup some tires for our race car so we can win?

I laughed until my sides hurt – talk about unexpected – and was in a great mood for the rest of the day.