The last day of the season

When I think about the conference tournament that ended the season, I think of the word melancholy, which I’ve always thought meant “a feeling of loss in a moment that should be nothing but happy.”

To quickly get to the end of a long story (and a boring story for anyone who isn’t invested in it, I’m sure), it was a seven-against-seven tournament, and the two boys teams we fielded made it to the semi-finals, and the only girls team we fielded made it to the finals.

With Boys Team 1 watching from the sidelines, Boys Team 2 played a team form Jeju. The Jeju team had shocked Boys Team 1, the team I thought to be the slightly better of our two, in tournament’s the morning group stage.

I issued what I hoped was a chill-inducing warning to Boys Team 2. “You are better than this team. But the better team doesn’t always win the game – your teammates on the other team saw that.”

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Many happenings

Sorry I haven’t blogged. During my hiatus, the season continued and ended. This post will fill you in until the final tournament, if you’re interested.

After the tie documented in the last post, the boys steamrolled through the remainder of the regular season. One game, on a 6-against-6 field, they split into two teams, played four games against the host school’s two teams, and won something like 50-10 on aggregate – a retreat-to-the-hills route.

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The incident at the boys soccer game

If you read the last post, about how last week my girls soccer team lost a game but won a moral victory, maybe you imagined I experienced some sort of catharsis.

I didn’t – at least not that day. Because immediately after the jumping up and down and smiling and post-match hand-wringing in the name of sportsmanship, the boys team took the field. If at the end of the last post you had pictured blue skies, now picture gathering storm clouds.

No matter the country soccer is played in, you see, in my experience there is far less holy joy to be witnessed in the boy’s game than in the girl’s. Note need be made of the adjective holy and one game I played during my college soccer career perhaps embodies why.

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The very important first girls high school soccer game of spring

I landed in Korea in September to teach English and the next few weeks were the worst in my life.

It’s March now, so I survived, though I don’t talk about those first weeks. I’m sure I’ve had a different experience than my English-teaching cohorts, simply because my school boasts an incredibly unique personality: its kids live at the school, wake at 6 a.m. for chapel, and are good enough at English to be taught literature in the language. There’s also girls and boys high school soccer teams, which I’m coaching this spring.

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