Penalty kick and, OMG!

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The ninth annual PACNW Classic kicked off yesterday with a 0-2 loss for my son’s team. No big surprise there.

For some reason, our team hasn’t been able to win many games in the fall season. Last night’s first tournament game was no exception.

Despite their best efforts, by the second half, WPFC broke through Rush’s defense for the first time and kept exploiting the same opening.

My son was able to drive close enough for at least three near-missed goal shots, four if you count the two free kicks from half the field that nearly banked in from the top right corner. Those missed shots would prove costly.

Today, in a game against Harbor Premier, it looked as if Rush would succumb earlier to a 0-2 loss. Again, lack of a passing game and holes in the defense worked against my son’s team, as they scrambled for possession of the ball — only to lose it easily.

By halftime, Harbor Premier had two goals on Rush. But that was about to change.

A new player by the name of Isaiah came hurtling around the bend on a loose breakaway a few yards from the net to score the first goal easily on a hefty pass.

However, the game seemed destined to favor Harbor Premier anyway as the time kept ticking away. That is, until the second handball was finally called on by the ref, a few feet away from the box.

My son strides up to the ball as his teammates set up for a penalty kick, with two opponents directly in front of him. Instead of trying to curve the ball into the net at the last minute, James decides to send it toward the outside edge, far right of the net, which is exactly when their keeper, Kyle, headed it in clean.

The coach decided to put the keeper (who also plays forward) in with the other players on a risky play, which paid off.

With about a minute left, if that, Rush stays in the game with a tie.

I stood there saying, “OMG” about 10 times. The kick and the shot… amazing clutch play.

James drops the mic, and walks away to rest his bruised, battered body for the President’s Cup next Saturday, his birthday — two days shy of this tournament.

Bad timing, for sure. But I think this kid deserves a fucking break, don’t you, especially after busting his ass game after game, and enduring one tough break after another the last year.




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