I could bet anything that at some point in your life, the fear of losing has kept you up late at night. It kept me up very late this past Saturday night.

Our FC Garra 99 Super 2 Girls Team struggled all year long this past year.

They started the year losing the D1 Qualifying Tournament and staying down in a lower division (Super 2). Not only that, but the team also lost almost every single game of the Fall and Spring season.

Are they not skilled enough? Are they not good enough? I asked myself those questions a few times.

I had seen them practice and play and I really thought they had what it takes to win games and move to the higher Division, but ‘something’ kept holding them down. ‘Something’ kept them in the dark. ‘Something’ kept them away from winning games. And nobody knew what that ‘something’ was.

After a very difficult season, we lost a few great players. My guess is they were tired of ‘losing too much.’ However, most of them stayed together. They decided not to quit on soccer, not to quit on themselves, but most importantly, not to quit on each other.

Fast forward to Saturday night.

New year and another chance to win the D1 Qualifying Tournament.

3 teams but only 1 makes it through.

Our team had won their first game that Saturday morning (2-0). They looked like a more improved team. They were confident, they played harder and they were motivated. They had turned that ‘negative something’ into ‘something positive.’

There was hope. However, fear once again forced me to ask myself, do they have what it takes to win that second and final game to move up to Division 1?

Maybe so, but on Sunday morning, all odds were against us.

The team we were going to play against was the lucky team that advanced directly to the second round without having to play a first game on Saturday. Call it LUCK, or POLITICS, or …. I guess it didn’t matter what we called it. They were fresh. We were tired (Yes 105 degrees out there really wears you off). They had a full roster. We were missing a few girls.

They had a very strong team and at the end of the first half we were down 1-0. How could we beat such a great team when all odds are against us? We were tired, frustrated and desperate. The parents were quiet and angry. Was last year going to repeat itself?


Indeed, our girls never lost faith.

They picked up extra energy from that hidden place inside of us that only the strong ones can reach, and they came back stronger and tied the game in the second half. Time kept on running and both teams were playing hard, but this time, the roles had turned. We had more possession of the ball and had more opportunities, but for some reason, we couldn’t score that second goal. Three minutes left and the referee talks to both of the coaches and reminds them that whoever was going to shoot the P.K.s had to be inside the field when the game ended. Both coaches made a few subs and everything was ready for Penalty Kicks. The clock kept running and a sense of urgency run through everyone’s body.

Who was going to win?

And just a few seconds before the game ended, right when everyone thought the game was going to be over, the unthinkable happened. Amber, our right midfielder received an amazing pass from another midfielder. It was a beautiful and unexpected breakaway. Time slowed down and I could see everything in slow motion. I saw the end result in advance, however, I was afraid that it was not going to become a reality. Time un-paused. Amber sent a beautiful cross to Serena, one of our forwards, and …



I learned a lot that day. I learned about faith, perseverance and hard work.

However, I learned about something far more important than those things: FAMILY. They played as a FAMILY. They sacrificed themselves for the player on their right and left. They became ONE.

“Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” – Michael Jordan.

A great season awaits.


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