Sunday, May 31, 2009

Road to the 2009 Spring U12 Soccer Championships

What an exciting weekend! Amina's soccer team, the Wizards, played their tournament this weekend starting in 3rd position out of 4 teams. Their spring season was hot and cold before the tournament:

Team, Score, win/loss

Tempest 3-1 win
Cheetah Girls 2-3 loss
Lady Chaos 1-2 loss
Cheetah Girls 1-3 loss
Tempest 3-3 tie
Cheetah Girls 1-1 tie
Tempest 1-1 tie
Lady Chaos 1-0 win
Lady Chaos 1-2 loss

On Saturday morning, their first game was against the Cheetah Girls at 10:30 am - the team ranked 1st going into the tournament. The girls played a great game but Amina made an error and a hand ball in the box was called on her which allowed the Cheetah Girls to score a point and win with a shut out (1-0). We headed out to the school's golf tournament and had lunch then hung out for a little bit until her next game at 2:30 against the Tempest. The Wizards did a phenomenal job dominating the Tempest throughout the game and shut them out with a score of 3-0 earning them all 10 points (6 for the win, 1 for each point scored up to 3, and 1 for the shut out). Amina scored the final point for her team. The Cheetah Girls and Lady Chaos played as well and tied, each earning 4 points. The Lady Chaos had played the Tempest that morning and had won 4-2 earning 9 points.

By Sunday, the standings by points were:

Lady Chaos 13
Cheetah Girls 12
Wizards 10
Tempest 2

The Wizards had to win their game against the Lady Chaos to move on to the finals - a tie wouldn't do. We watched the end of the game between the Cheetah Girls and Tempest and found out that they had actually tied 2-2 so the Cheetah Girls were guaranteed a spot in the finals while the Tempest had been knocked out.

The game against the Lady Chaos went much better than expected. Interestingly, the Cheetah Girls stayed to watch the game cheering for the Wizards because they didn't want to play the Lady Chaos in the finals - the Lady Chaos was the only team so far that had beaten them in a game. The Wizards scored a point and then kept the Lady Chaos at bay for the remainder of the game winning 1-0 and advancing to the finals against the Cheetah Girls. Amina was elated just by making it to the finals when the Wizards weren't expected to get that far.

The girls on the team were pretty exhausted and overheated. It had been 90+ degrees during the game and only 9 players from their team played on the 2nd day of the tournament which meant there was only 1 person to sub. The ref was very nice during the earlier game allowing the teams to take an extra break about 10 minutes before the end of the game allowing them to rehydrate. After the earlier game, we had about 45 minutes before Amina had to be back on the field for the finals. We rushed home where Amina had a bagel and tried to rehydrate then Seth brought her back to the field.

The Finals were brutal. The Wizards scored first but shortly after that, they were penalized for a high kick in the box which allowed the Cheetah Girls to score on a penalty kick. Another penalty kick later in the game was saved by the Wizard goalie. By the end of the game, the score was still 1-1. The girls were allowed to rest and hydrate 5 minutes then played two 5-minute halves but the score remained 1-1. Amina was sidelined because she was not on the field when the game ended and could not play during overtime. The game then moved on from overtime to penalty kicks. The Wizards kicked first and then the penalty kicks alternated between teams with 5 members from each team taking a turn. The Wizards ended up scoring 3 points, the Cheetah Girls scored 2 with their last kicker blocked by our goalie at the very end. The game that had started at 5 pm finally concluded at 6:45 pm.

The girls were ecstatic. I had told Amina that if her team won the championships that we would throw a big pool party at our house so the girls were very excited about this as well. It was definitely a memorable weekend - the Wizards had significantly improved this season and were the only team during the tournament to score 10 points in one game and have 0 points scored on their defense.

(left to right) Michelle, Tyler, Rita, Amina, Emma, Emily, Maria, Sierra, Megan
(back row) Coach Andy

Amina with her loot (finally - after four 2nd place trophies and one 3rd place)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tulsa Full Moon 5k

On a spur of the moment, I booked a quick trip to Tulsa for the weekend last week with 2 excuses in mind: the Tulsa Full Moon 5k and Mother's Day. I received an email from Fleet Feet sports about the Full Moon 5k and thought it would be a great event for the 4 of us because there was no minimum pace, an ideal first 5k for the kids to try before the Expedition Everest Challenge in September (where there will be a 15 minute/mile minimum pace).

I googled and googled and finally settled on an overnight stay at the Embassy Suites hotel off I-44. We had already missed the online registration for the 5k. After doing a little more googling, I came up with a plan by Friday evening: Amina's soccer game at 9 am, leave for Tulsa after the game, stop at Fuddrucker's for lunch, catch the 1:30 showing of the new Star Trek movie at a theater right across the street (tickets bought online), check-in at the Embassy Suites, change into our race/running clothes, get to Veteran's Park to register for the race, find something light for dinner, then run the race at 8pm. We also had Mother's Day brunch reservations at the Brasserie (10 am) but had to cancel because of Amina's soccer game at 1 pm.

Fortunately, our 9 am soccer game was cancelled due to rain so we headed for Tulsa at 9:30 am. We had plenty of time for lunch at Fuddrucker's then headed to the Cinemark movie theater across the street about 45 minutes before the movie was to start. We waited in line for the theater doors to open even though we had purchased tickets online. This seemed a bit silly to me - the only movie in the whole theater where we were made to wait outside the theater until about 15 minutes before the movie started.

The new Star Trek movie was excellent - even the kids, who begged us to be allowed to see a different movie, enjoyed it. Seth and I chuckled at the classic lines in the movie - along with the other true Trek geeks in the theater. I was particularly impressed with how cleverly the movie completely re-invented a show that's been around for 40+ years leaving the door wide open for further episodes or movies to start, literally, from scratch. I'm looking forward to more movies with the new cast.

After the movie, we checked into the Embassy Suites and thanked our lucky stars that the kids wouldn't have the time to swim in the hotel's pool - it was obscenely crowded with children - many were obviously attending other sporting events. We changed clothes and hung out for a bit before driving to Veterans Park. Race day registration was $30 but we were given vouchers for race t-shirts to be picked up after the middle of June or so at the Fleet Feet store in Tulsa. We pinned our race bibs on and attached the racing chips to our shoes then got back in the car and drove to Utica Square to do some shopping.

The kids did some last minute Mother's Day shopping at Williams-Sonoma and then we stopped at Petty's Fine Foods for some energy bars and sushi before driving back to find a parking spot near Veterans Park. We stretched before the race and watched the people who were doing the 1 mile fun run at 7:30 then made our way towards the back of the 5k crowd. We had decided that the kids' goal finish time would be under 45 minutes.

At the start of the race, the kids both did pretty well keeping a 10 to 10:30 pace but after not quite a mile, Rhys needed to stop and walk. Amina and Seth continued on without us. Rhys and I jogged and walked the rest of the way with a sprint in the last 1/10 of a mile or so. Amina and Seth's final time was 37:28 and our final time was 41:02. We should be in good shape for our race in September and now the kids have PRs to work on. We drank some water after the race then decided to go for dinner and stopped at the Cracker Barrel near the hotel. The following morning, Mother's Day, we went back to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast before heading back to Enid in time for Amina's 1 pm game. During breakfast, I received a mini-burger press and a cherry/olive pitter for Mother's Day.