My Indoor Soccer Debut

the only sport I played in high school was soccer, which isn't saying much since our team was terrible. Most weeks we'd get beat by double digits, which is like getting beat by 100 in basketball. When I hung up the cleats way back in the fall of '91 I never thought I'd be picking them up again. Over the years I've gotten the itch to play again but never had the opportunity or the time. Now I have both so I thought I'd give it a try.

A few weeks ago I signed up to play indoor at the local YMCA. I didn't have an official team so they put me on the Y team that consist of lone individuals like me that want to play but have nowhere to go. Our team consist of 11 players which I'm thinking may be a bit much since only 5 are on the court at a time. My goals for this season are simple: 1) Don't get hurt 2) Don't hurt the team 3) Contribute to the team, and 4) Get in better shape.

As we all arrived last night we were easy to spot since our team color is yellow. Once everyone arrived we did a quick run through of names and soccer experience and we quickly learned that only 3 of the 11 had ever played indoor before and a few had never even played soccer at all. Our team is coed (3 girls 8 guys) with our girls probably being the best players we have. We grabbed some indoor soccer balls (imagine giant tennis balls) and started to warm up. After a brief kick around we circled up to determine who would play goalie. No one had played that position before nor did anyone step up to play this time. After an awkward silence I foolishly spoke up and said I'd give it a try. A couple of more guys did too so we started a goalie rotation in warm-ups to determine who would get the start. The first guy was doing well until he was hit in the eye and had to step out. The second guy jammed his finger and also had to step out. That left me. After a few kicks and blocks the nervousness started to settle and I became a bit more comfortable, but of course it wasn't game time yet. One of my teammates told me not to worry because most goalies stink in in-door soccer. I think she was just trying to make me feel better.

Once the game started that first 20min half felt like it went by in 2 minutes. Our team held our own with a team that obviously had more experience then us. At halftime we were only down 2-1. I wasn't great in goal but I think I was effective. My defense saved me several times so the fact we only gave up 2 goals was more their hard work then my goalie ability. At half time I gave the goal duties to the guy who was hit in the eye (he was feeling much better) and I jumped in to get some running in. My one shining momnet came when I was able to still the ball and pas it off to one of our girls. As we ran down we had a 2 on 1 break. She passed it to me and with a wide open goal I shanked it wide left by about a foot. Story of my life.

In the end we lost 4-1 but overall I thought we played great considering the circumstances. I have some tremendous teammates that all seem very cool and I can't wait to get to know them this season. I heard last season's YMCA indoor team didn't win a game, so I figure we can only go up from there.


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