It was nothing less than a THING of beauty.
There is my Haley Anne, age 12, playing “up” (a full year early) at U14 with her next generation Fusion Shockers at their first tournament together (that would be the 2009 Lanier Cup).
As you probably know, Haley Anne is a FORMIDABLE Defender. /1
It’s early in our third match of the tournament. We need five goals with any hope to reach the tournament finals.
On a corner kick, in the 8th minute, from teammate and Captain Mars Twitchell (whom ultimately two goals herself), the ball spins off the boot of another teammate Jessica Curtis (one assist). Haley comes furiously pounding up the “pipe” (middle of the pitch [soccer field]). In seemingly surreal fashion (certainly slow-motion to her coach and father) she connects her right boot with the ball in a perfect stride that sends the ball arcing beautifully towards the goal from (at least) 40 meters out.
The hapless opposing goalie can only reach for the ball in a moot effort as it passes just cleanly beneath the cross bar and settling purposefully in the back of the net.
Brian Patrick Cork (Dad first and then Coach) /2 :
I only know the crowd and her teammates have gone wild because I am told later this is, indeed, fact. But, it had to be drowned out by the blood rushing from my head to my heart and the exultation (and chest thumping that followed) that erupts from my hoarse throat – as I leap (certainly with the most awe-inspiring of agility) upon my friend, and assistant coach, Chris Tovar (clearly the proud father, in his own right [and, for very good cause] of Haley Anne’s multi-season teammate Christy [who also had a goal herself]) – whom could be barely less delighted than myself.
Our teams first goal of the season is scored. By MY daughter – and, a Defender at that.
Could there be greater joy this day?
Possibly only in that the Shockers (“Mighty Tigers” all) go on to seal this victory with a five to zero demonstration of grit, fire power and indomitable defense.
It should be noted that, in Haley Anne’s view (this is typical of Haley Anne), the best goal was actually that scored by teammate Mallory Charlton. Mallory had no less than four brilliant breakaway’s – with the fourth culminating in a one-on-one with the Keeper and a clean goal in the upper left corner of the net.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork
1/ Her Fall 2008 ASA Shockers went 12 – 0 with 7 shut-outs. Haley Anne had no less than 13 assists as a Defender and team Captain.
2/ Convinced, not unreasonably, that his teams have a tendency to win despite his coaching.