The Soccer Cup Game
By Manal Layachi
Volume 1 Issue 2
November 24, 2020
Image provided by Sergel Karpukhin
The sun was shining in my face. I could see the morning dew shining on the grass. I heard many cheers and screams as I walked onto the field. I knew that that day’s game was going to be great. My team and I would succeed, and we would not give up. That day, we were playing in the finals of the Long Island Cup games. We wondered whether we would finally win and take home the trophy. I remember the first time my team, the Tuareg Rebels, and I tried to win the previous year. During the final game, my coach came back from Rome where he was traveling on business just to coach us. My team had won all 19 games of the whole season. I remember the first time my team made it to the Long Island Cup finals. All our hard work didn’t pay off because we lost. We mourned this loss. My teammates and I cried a lot. The other team cheated because they had guest players from upper divisions. It was not fair. There was no need to cheat in order to win.
Then we tried again last year. On the day of the finals, I woke up excited to get ready for this huge event. My dad is my smart coach. He was wearing a professional blue jacket, with a blue cap, and black and blue soccer shoes. We got into our 2018 Honda Odyssey and drove for close to two long hours to reach Stony Brook where the championship game was held, but it was worth it.
When we arrived, we could see a large variety of age group teams from different places competing for the cup. I felt like I was in a forest because we were surrounded by trees. My dad and I were nervous. We needed to win this game! I met up with my teammates. We are all wearing a yellow jersey, blue shorts, blue socks, and cleats. The team we played against was called the Bulldogs. They were wearing orange jerseys and fancied intimidating eye black. My stomach was filled with butterflies.
Before we started the game, the coach gave an inspirational speech and encouraged us to be the best we could be. That day was our day to win and we would not give up. Before the game started, my team lined up behind the referee and the other team did the same. I felt like I was in a professional game.
The game started out like a normal game. When someone scores a goal against your team, you get this feeling that it is over, but we shook it off and kept playing. By the end of the first half, we were losing 2-3. Everyone on my team started to become discouraged. We felt like we had lost and were going to give up. Everyone was sweating, and my face was as red as a tomato. Will the Tuareg Rebels come back and finish this game with a victory? Or will they give up?
In half-time, my coach gave us another inspirational speech and made us believe in our capacity to turn things around and win. We had to give it our all, he said. We went out in the field and played as if our life depended on winning. We scored a goal! The score was then 3-3. A player in the opposing team touched the ball with her hand in the penalty area. We were awarded a penalty kick. That was our chance to score. My teammate Isabella was going to shoot it in the goal. All the pressure was on her. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. She scored! My teammates and I jumped in the air with happiness. The score was then 4-3 and we needed to have good defense to stop the other team from scoring against us. Toward the end of the game, we felt a burst of energy, which made us play with confidence.
The game finally ended, and we had won the game! My team’s parents were cheering loudly, and everyone was happy. My dad was jumping like Mario from Super Mario Brothers 2. We ran around the field with the winning ball that we all signed at the end of the game. I still have the ball and the trophy in my house.
After the game and the ceremonies were over, a professional photographer took a picture of us with the trophy. I walked by other people playing and watched some doing penalty kicks because no one won the game, even in the overtime period. They needed to do 5 penalty kicks each to decide who wins. Whoever scored the most goals wins. I am happy that we didn’t have to do that.
One of our teammate’s mom, who is a baker, baked cupcakes in the shape of a soccer ball. The cupcakes were vanilla flavored, had an Oreo in the middle, green frosting, and a soccer ball ring. It was soft, moist, and delicious. We got our medals and the Cup Game trophy. I was happy and smiled the whole time. I learned that you can do anything you put mind to. Also, you should never give up easily, just keep trying.