They won!! They did - last night the boys ( young men ) beat the current National Champions from Illinois. Well, this team is the current reigning champ until tomorrow morn, until another two teams compete. So for today -- we will just SIT in the glory of being 'National Champs' too!
Last night the boys won ...in the final 6-8 minutes. I can't even tell you who hit the goal which tied the game ...or what exactly happened even though I sat there at the VICTORY dinner and listened to the other parents tell and retell the story over and over. I know that we had two very good shots on goal but their keeper was good! I can tell you that it was 0-1 at half time. I had gone to the restroom out of superstition as that always seems to work - I go to the bathroom and our team scores - and when I returned it was 2-1 or I thought we were winning, but the score was 1-2.
We had scored, but they did too!
I can also tell you that I watched 14 boys dig deep....as they were TIRED, but they kicked it into HIGH gear!
You see last night's game wasn't to compete in the final..last night's game was redemption. Last night's game was needed and proof of something! The boys knew their chances of advancing were --not. Last night's win was proof to our boys that THEY were to be here - at this level of play in a National Event...as in the last 5-8 minutes our boys worked together and TIED the game. 2-2. I screamed so loud -- we all did. Parents from the other games turned about to watch us...and in the final 40 seconds, in the 90th minute, we would of had the winning goal as well, but the opposing player stuck his hand up to block the ball in the box and we got a foul/penalty kick. And our boys took that penalty kick and sent it clear into the goal...now it was 3-2! Again I screamed....wow...
The boy who shot the goal, took his shirt off in celebration....he got a yellow card of course - non-sportsmanship behavior, but 'us' parents probably should of gotten a yellow card too - cause we were a jumping and screaming. We celebrated right there....finally, THESE were the boys that had won 13 games straight in State and REgional play. THERE were boys that we traveled with for the past three years and watched them in victory and in defeat! THESE were the boys that so easily won REGIONALS and were the 'team to beat' according to the other teams in Oklahoma City!
We needed that win.
We deserved that win - as the boys were finally playing THEIR game...they were the better team last night. They were the better team the night before, but just could not get the momentum for a win....and I admit...they were NOT the better team on that first fateful night of competition...the FC RAiders were..they were/are good... They came with 32 players, 22 on the roster, 6 coaches, and a videographer and a person JUST to carry the practice balls. They were a MEGA club. They have the entire state of athletes trying to GET on their team...we had 14 players..14 dedicated ones that tried their best. The FC RAiders will most likely WIN the U18 title - they will play a team from the WEST COAST on Sunday -- we will be flying home.
Flying home to...no more TEAM BOCA soccer...but hello to FAU soccer...
Flying home to memories made..of three years of a LOT of money spent, miles driven, and practice runs to Boca...but three years of memories -- good memories because of such a GREAT group of boys, talent, and supportive parents that are now GOOD friends!
I know it is not 'right' to pray for a win - at one point in one of the games, I had a BIG conversation with God ..."ok, I will leave you alone - you have cancer to cure and lives to save -- you don't need to listen to my plea...let them win..." But even in that STILL small prayer -- I knew that I knew...God wanted those boys to win as much as I did -- but then the better team won. And...it is all relative....there are people in Africa and India that are in more desperate need, there are awful people sex trafficking girls and children for their entertainment and profit, and there are many hurting families and people who are struggling to just live....perspective...
But....we serve a GOD that answers our 'needy' and small prayers - just like HE answers the BIG ones! HE also gives us the desires of our hearts....sweet memories and beautiful 'happenings' to fill us and grow our faith. HE does!!
Thank you Lord, for Team Boca and Coach Mike...Coach Jay...Tom and Anne Holly the Team Managers and for the TEAM parents....and for each young man that played with this team over the three years -- God bless them in a mighty way!
Lord, thank you that we put out hope in you...Isaiah 40. 31 says...
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Lord, may EACH and every one these boys that have grown fondly upon our hearts...may they soar on wings like eagles...Lord, many of them are off to their perspective colleges and they will play more soccer but begin education careers - may they run and not grow weary...several want to be doctors..others will do business related fields - whatever their path...may they run and not grow weary - may they SEEK you ...may they not grow faint and may this 'last' game stay forever in their hearts as a blessing from you - a GREAT way to end a season of soccer. Lord, watch over them and protect them, watch over and bless the parents they love. Lord, I ask in your name...may they SEEK you and realized that with YOU ..they CAN soar...with you THEY CAN defeat any enemy...and with YOU...blessings will flow. Lord, that they would seek you in each and every aspect of their lives.....Thank you Lord - AMEN!
PS, God...YOU ROCK..YOU have gone exceedingly and abundantly and beyond -- I will forever sing your praises!