Today is his third entry of the year as he chronicles the adventures of the team during his senior campaign.
Inconsistent, haphazard and intermittently impressive: adjectives as applicable to my blogging as they have been to our performances this season.
But after eight games without victory, we finally put together a showing befitting the talent we believe lies in our squad on Saturday. We played excellently and won 2-0. Upon the final whistle, a collective sigh of relief resounded round the stadium, and Panther players, coaches, parents and dogs released long-banished post-game smiles. Lo and behold, with the result, goal, and a new MacBook Air, my creative blogging juices flow once more.
Petter netted the opener with a fine first half header from a cross by converted full back Horvat. In a mixed season defensively, Aaron’s consistency in the new position – after playing his whole career as a forward – has been commendable. Luke Goodnetter’s long ball assisted our second and match-securing goal.
Keeping things clean at the other end, Liam Anderson and our back line nullified the opposition attack, giving us a complete team performance. The superstitious stopper claimed his good luck charm was a bacon, onion and barbeque pizza he treated himself to on Friday night – not a pre-match ritual the rest of us will be joining you in, mate!
Results or not, our team morale has been remarkably high all year. I think it’s because we understand that we’ve rarely been outclassed. Scorelines don’t lie, and conceding goals without scoring is recipe for unsatisfactory soccer. But losses have often been by margins as narrow as a Norwegian’s calves – just check out Magnus Flaatedal’s lower leg muscles to see what I mean.
And so we have kept a buoyant locker room, which has been heartening to be involved in. There have been times of testy tempers, but that is part of sport. A group of twenty-five testosterone-filled footballers will inevitably boil over on occasion, even when the going is good. But our togetherness has stayed intact, and will have to remain that way as we approach the season’s climax.
We have five games left. That’s frightening. With victories from those matches, we can extend that number to include post-season games, which puts this senior a little more at ease. Knowing my college years are almost over adds extra importance to each date on our schedule. The leaves have almost all fallen on the ground.
If it felt like Saturday’s first conference win lay the foundations for the rest of our year, then we’ll have to construct the floors, ceilings and roof pretty quickly. But ours is a group with structural integrity. And I’m betting, with everybody working to the same tune, we can still build something special.