It’s the weekly soccer update!

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Yes, here it is – the post you’ve been looking forward to all week, I’m sure. Where we answer the central questions, “Which positions did they play?”, “How many quarters did Abby or Hannah sit out?”, and the most important “What did Deb come up with to keep Becca occupied and off the field this week?”

Well, since you asked…  😉

This week presented a particular challenge that I hadn’t dealt with before. Two soccer games at the exact same time. At the same school, thank goodness – unlike last year. But, since I could transport everyone all at once, it wasn’t necessary for Ron to take the day off to help either.

I think I now know what a ping-pong ball feels like.

Two factors made things much, much easier than they would have been otherwise. First, my mom is here visiting for the weekend, meaning that both girls would have someone cheering for them at all times. Check. Also, our neighbor’s 9-year-old daughter “A” was available to come and ‘babysit’ – meaning keep a certain toddler amused and happy while I focused on actually watching her sisters play for once.  Check.

Abby’s game started a few minutes before Hannah’s did, so I was able to watch closely as Abby kicked off the ball to start the game.

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I don’t know if it was having had the opening kickoff, knowing that Grandma was here watching her or what – but something lit a bit of a fire underneath my normally under-aggressive oldest soccer player. She actually ran after the ball and even tried to kick it, instead of waiting for it to come to her.

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Imagine that.  🙂

I was so proud of her! And as I stood on the sidelines, trying to peer from one game to the other, I could have burst with pride for both of my soccer girls.

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Do you see that thing on the right-hand side of the picture above? With the net attached? Yep, that.  The goal. Now, while she didn’t actually score a goal, she certainly got closer to it than I think she ever has in four years of playing soccer. And she ALMOST scored a goal.

I know I’ve never seen her SO excited about a soccer game before.

That is, until she got hit with the ball in the mouth during the third quarter and left the field in tears. But even those didn’t last long, and she was ready to go back out and play the final quarter – she would have too, if the coach hadn’t scheduled her to sit out.

And Abby’s team actually won – their first win of the season! The final score was 2-1.

Now back to our other regularly scheduled programming – Hannah’s game. Which both started after Abby’s did, and ended before. That answers a question I’ve had for a while – the U6 games are definitely shorter than the U8 ones are.

I was lucky in that the two fields the girls were playing on were adjacent to each other, with the short sides separated by a path. So I mostly stood in between – and looking to the left saw blue (Abby’s team) vs. yellow:

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while looking to the right yielded this view of blue vs. purple (Hannah’s team):

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Not surprisingly, Hannah played awesomely as usual. She’s definitely very aggressive – but this week I saw her actually hanging back to let other girls kick the ball more often, and even yelling ‘pass!’ as they’d worked on in practice. In fact, Hannah’s whole team did a much better job of not bunching up around the ball than in both previous games.

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Hannah played forward during the first quarter, defense during the second and then sat out for the third quarter (allowing me to be watching Abby’s game when she got hit by the ball). But, halfway during the third quarter, Hannah’s team’s goalie, who had been scored on twice in close succession, refused to play any longer. So Hannah was put in as goalie. And she did an awesome job, saving several goals and keeping the other team only to a 3-1 lead. She played goalie during the last quarter as well.

Goalie is Hannah’s favorite position.  🙂

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I am actually amazed that my camera took as good of photos as it did across a whole soccer field, since I’ve cropped the heck out of the picture above…

I wasn’t the only parent cheering for both games at once – one of Hannah’s teammates had an older sister on the yellow team that Abby’s team was playing against. I think their mother and I crossed paths several times as we ran back and forth. I’d set up our stroller and chairs by Hannah’s field initially, but then we all re-located to watch the end of Abby’s game after Hannah’s had ended. Even though Abby was sitting out that last quarter, we still cheered her team on.

So how did Becca do, with finally being able to go and play on the playground she’s so desperately been wishing to get to during the previous weeks?

She lasted about a quarter, before A brought her back because she was pretty much just throwing wood chips up in the air by that point. But – thanks to a well-prepared, 9-year-old ‘babysitter’ who brought a bag stocked with coloring books and crayons, all was good.

Do you like my little ‘two-fisted’ colorer?

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Here’s our whole little group during the last few minutes of Abby’s game – from Becca’s foot, just over the field line, to Grandma watching them from behind.

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I think for the first time, I was actually more exhausted than the girls were after their games were over this week.  🙂

Next week – stay tuned for more ‘ping-pong ball mom’ as I attempt the same feat of watching two games at once, but 1-1/2 hours earlier in the morning, and without Grandma here to help. I’m just hoping that A will be available again, or I’ll be situating Becca in the stroller smack dab in the middle of the pathway – if the girls play on the same two fields, that is – or frantically pushing the stroller back and forth if not.