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4/19/09 Soccer Tourney Day 2: Hope Springs Eternal

Today, we have one match in the morning (girls) and two matches in the afternoon (boys). Then the tourney will pause for a week and recommence next Saturday, with the boys' semifinal rounds. Sunday will be the championship games for both the girls and the boys.

The match was set to start at 10, so I got there at 9:45, and by 10:15, we were rolling. That's pretty extraordinarily prompt given that one of the teams didn't actually show up. I don't know where the miscommunication occurred, but we ended up a team short. Fortunately Hope, the losers of yesterday's girls' match, appeared (in uniform, which makes me think some of this was pre-arranged) to fill the void.

Sunday mornings, the students get to sleep in. It's the only day of the week without any classes at all. I therefore expected minimal attendance, as students chose their snug beds over the windy, dusty soccer field.

As the game began, there were indeed only a handful of onlookers. As the sun rose higher, though, more and more brave souls emerged from the dorms, and by halftime we had 35 guys and 20 girls watching the game. The second half, cheerleading erupted spontaneously, and we had rival factions shouting the names of the two teams (Hope and Sisterhood). More and more students trickled into the stands (by which I mean the dirt hump next to the field.) At the final buzzer, the score was tied 2-2, so the crowd of now 80 guys and 21 girls held their breath for the sudden death overtime. Three or four minutes later, Hope executed a slick triple-pass that slid the ball all the way around the goal and then slipped it just inside the goalpost. Looks like their defeat yesterday wasn't the end of the story after all; they'll face Jasmine again for the championship, next week.

More to come, including a bunch more pictures, but it's time to head back for the boys' matches...

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