I want to start by saying wow. Just wow. We had almost 500 people at our match today. One of which was a scout and another who coaches one of the national teams. It’s insane the amount of support we have. And we feel it on the pitch. And we support each other. Even today, a crazy match, we found a way to support each other.
Ok, so this game right? We just played the most intense game I think we’ve had. We played against Bollstanäs and from the very start we felt a different kind of pressure. There was only a 5 point lead between us and this game could bring us closer to winning the whole thing. And that pressure is intense, but all true football players love it. These are the games we remember. These are the games where we show who we are and what we are made of. And today, we were made of pure solid AWESOME.
First half ended 0-0 as expected. What I didn’t expect was having two great chances on goal and kissing them both. My mind almost went so negative, but my team and the crowd was there for me.
Second half, they had the wind in their favor. And just a few minutes in, they scored. We have only been in this situation 5 other times. Yeah, you read that right, we’ve only been scored on 5 times before this goal. The goal was in slow motion. There was hardly a reaction to it. Not the crowd, and barely their team. And there was SO much time to play. But for the next 30 minutes, we fought for a goal and it just wasn’t working. One of those moments where you feel the gameslipping away and you feel a special part of your season going with it. Being undefeated comes with a sense of worry for if that’s taken away.
We were 85 minutes in. Most teams would’ve accepted their fate and given up. But us? No no, we fought. It started with Ellika. She sprang to receive the ball from a throw in. Passed it over to Matilda who took on two players and got us a corner. This corner. Wow, this corner was a chance. A moment for us to take back what was ours in front of our 500 or so fans. Anna went out to take it. And I prayed. I prayed for a goal so so hard. She hit it, the wind and her perfect curve took that ball and it bounced right in. Well, it went up and down right in the box and then went it. And holy crowd reaction. They roared with excitement and we celebrated like we just won the World Cup! And it felt that way too.
When you work that hard in a game, and get rewarded for it, it’s just so satisfying. It’s a feeling that most athletes miss immensely when they are done playing. It’s happiness and relief. It’s joy and pride. It’s magical. This team is magical. Can’t wait to play another game with them. Sad I have to wait a whole week to do it, but I cannot wait!
This team has the unique opportunity to work with a Sports Psychologist who helps us get our mind focused on the right things. He encourages us to be complete players. That takes time. It takes commitment that goes far beyond the lines of the field. It takes sacrifice and it takes a whole lot of drive. Mr. Bean (his nickname) helps us find the tools to have all of those things.
In our last Bean meeting, we were asked what we thought about the season, past present and future. This question comes up a lot for us seeing as we are undefeated and if things stay this awesome, we would move up. A lot of people ask us about our hard matches. The one that comes up most often in our gameagainst GUSK. But the problem with that was that they were never our next match up. So, in this meeting when we were asked about all that, my only response was Bele, the name of the team we were meeting next.
This Bele team is a pain the Ljusdal history. We have never beaten them. They were our only non win this whole season as well. But this time, we prepared so well it was inevitable that we would be successful. How successful?? Well, we scored in the first minute of the match, I scored a left footed volley that I will remember forever, and one of my favorite Swedes in the world (Karin) scored her first goal after coming back from injury.
Let me just elaborate on this girl. She slightly tore her hamstring and worked her tail off to get back on the pitch. In her first game back, she had an amazing start and then POW! Tore her hammy to shreds. She had every opportunity to get down, to feel sorry for herself and to let negativity take over. But she didn’t. She fought. Hard. I watched her in the gym day after day running and training. Inspiring doesn’t do her justice. So when she hit the back of the net in this last game, the relief and happiness that took over her and the rest of the team was palpable. I was the first to get to her after she scored and we hugged for a solid minute. She let out a tear of joy and raised her hands to give that goal to her Papa in heaven.
I scored again at some point in that game and our fans were more than happy. And let me tell you, we have the best fans ever. They even clap when we miss a shot. I feel that they are our 12th player on the field. And now, we finally prepare for this game of all games, GUSK. And guess what? Those crazy fans we have are renting a charter bus and driving three hours to come and support us. Like whaaaaat? Blessed is the understatement of the century.
The Stockholm drive. It was my first experience with an away game with this team and the first time, it worried me. Taking such a long drive took a lot out of us that first day. And then we did it again and same thing. We had trouble finding an away game groove. Then we did. Oh boy we did. And now, as we traveled the familiar few hours to face Taby, we were ready. So ready.
That field brings back a lot of memories for me. A few years ago, my team made program history on that field. We had never beaten Taby at home before and we beat them, and by a lot. So as I drove up to that field again, I had nothing but good memories. Happy memories. But I was nervous. I don’t often get too nervous for games, but I had a weird week of training where I felt like I lost my mojo. It felt like my body couldn’t do what my brain was asking it to.
When I started warm up, it got worse. I was a ball of stress. But, my team, I gotta tell you…is amazing. I say it a lot but it’s only because it keeps being proven to be the absolute truth. We take challenges, we make them successes. We work hard for each other. We support each other. And it results in goals like our first one in this game. We won the ball, one of my favorites passed a ball to me, I passed it to Vicke, who had made the world’s best run, and boom. Goal.
And another came in the form of more magic from the one and only Matilda. She just does the damn thing. Dribbled around and through players and finished with a beautiful goal. The third goal was the touch of her magic as well from a short corner crossed in that Frida finished with her head. I’m pretty sure it touched one of my curls on the way in, but I graciously have it to Frida. And the final goal was from me and was assisted by my partner in crime, Karin.
We have scored 16 goals in three games. That’s insanity! I feel like it’s a dream! Dream team to be exact. I get so excited to play with this team every weekend. And when I was feeling horrible, getting down on myself, my team was there for me. They encouraged me and gave me confidence. After playing so many years in this game, I’m still growing and aiming to get better every time I’m on the pitch. I’m hard on myself, but having a team like this supporting me makes all the difference.
Wow, what a game. We played against a team who I have a bit of history with. I’ve played them a few times and it’s hasn’t always been fun. This team started a downward spiral for my team in 2015 and then beat us the next time we met them. On the exact field we had the pleasure of playing on again.
When you have history with a team, you come into a game with memories flooding your brain. Good ones, bad ones, and all the ones in between. I was pumped. One huge reason why was because of our team meeting a few days prior. It’s amazing how one can insight excitement or a good memory in someone without even knowing it. I did that. And it impacted me in a great way.
Apparently, before a game, our team sports psychologist asked me how I felt. I answered,
“I’m [foul word] ready.” It was an honest answer. I’m not even sure what game this was. I just know that this stuck with him. It stuck with him so much that he based his entire meeting on being “[bleeping] ready.” And I felt so much pride. I felt that me, just being me, can impact someone who is sent to the team to impact us. Now, I know that there are probably many players who have done this for this guy, but I feel humbled and honored to be one of them.
And boy were we [blanking] ready! We scored our first goal inside of five minutes into the match. A ball from my Lil Sis Matilda to me, me to Anna and GOAL! Our second goal was a tad controversial. A ball to Ellika that was deflected by their defender to me, I one touch volleyed it back to Ellika and the screaming started…”offsides” they said. But she shot, the keeper made a phenomenal save, but not good enough to stop Vicke from torpedoing the ball back in left footed! Half time, us 2, them 0.
So many people will tell you that this is the scariest scored in soccer. But not for us. We came back out and scored again. And again and again. And again. Yeah, count those agains, we scored four more times! I got the next goal after half from a ball from Ellika. Then Anna from me, Vicke again, and then the wonderful Matilda rounded us out with a cool six.
This game was fun. When we have had so many tough and grueling games where fun wouldn’t be the adjective that comes to mind, having this game out of the gates after a break was magnificent. It was legendary. And it was well deserved. I’m happy to be back in it with this team and can’t wait until we get to play again. Why? Because we are so [f&$#%€?] ready!!
Traveling to games can be tedious. We live pretty far from most of our opponents. And there’s nothing like the fear of missing the bus for those games. And for my dear teammate, Sanna, it almost happened. I called her to ask if she wanted me to grab her warm up jacket from the locker room and instead, I was her alarm. Thankfully, I called, she woke up, and we picked her up…in the bus!
I say all this because we can have a horrible start to a day, and then get to play soccer and it all gets better. And boy did she play! Sanna assisted 2 of the 4 goals we scored in our match. Yes. We scored 4 goals! We unfortunately let one in, but made up for it. Actually, we went into the halftime 1-1. Not a fun score. There was that target on our back feeling again. They definitely out played us in the first half. We went into the locker room and talked it out and came out with a whole new energy.
Within the first few minutes of the second half we got a corner. Sanna, who could’ve let her rough start to the morning get her down, sent in a beautiful corner. Matilda got on the end of it and blasted it into the net! Up 2-1 and it boosted our energy up with it! We were unstoppable after that goal. Energized, aggressive, and out for blood. Literally actually made a girl bleed on that first goal. But that was on accident and our nurse on our team checked on her and she was ok.
It was such a necessary win for us. We had so much to prove in this game and rose the that challenge. Can’t wait to step on the field with these girls again! And next time, I’ll be a year older and a year wiser!