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Behind The Scenes In Soccer With Oscar Neri

O’NEALS — The Minarets Mustangs boys soccer team took on the Mariposa Grizzlies on Thursday, Dec. 8, with Minarets taking home the win 6-0 in a highly competitive match. I am Oscar Neri, a senior at Minarets high school. This is my first year on varsity. This is my account of the game.

As we went into our away game against Mariposa, I was told I would be starting forward and expected to show up and go big for the team. I got on the bus and knew I would be ready to score that goal.

The field was an amalgam of mud, clay, and long grass. Rain came down in horizontal sheets, stinging my face. The dimensions of the field were small and narrow, not something the team was accustomed to, something I knew we would have to adjust to.

Soccer is all about adjusting to the opposition. When the refs called for captains, coach told me I was a captain. I felt I had power to do anything on the field. I shook the other team’s captain’s hand and told them good luck. We picked heads and won the toss. I was ready to get that ball and rip that shot into the goal, I was excited.

The moment came 15 minutes into the second half.

I was ready in the middle of the field and received a pass. I dribbled through one player and moved the ball with the side of my foot to just outside the eighteen yard box. This was my opportunity. I got my foot below the ball, making a powerful connection. The shot sailed over the goalkeeper and I saw the net snap with tension.

Pure ecstasy coursed through me. I knew my team felt the same and that they were proud of me. I knew I did not have time to even look up because everyone was going to dog pile me. As I turned, the whole team was tackling me and went crazy on the field, all the players on the sidelines got yellow carded because they ran on the field, it was crazy and an awesome experience for me. My coach apologized for the team’s behavior and explained that they were celebrating their favorite player.

As the game went on, it started to rain and the field conditions worsened. When the game ended everyone was screaming my name and going crazy. The game ended 6-0 with Minarets being victorious. We lined up to shake the opponent’s hands and tell them good game, their coach shook my hand and said “Oscar” loudly because of everyone going crazy when I scored. He was happy for me, I went to my dad and he was very happy about how I played and that my team was very supportive and happy I scored.

 

Oscar Neri is a student athlete at Minarets

 

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