“Oh great,” I thought as I drove to Nunawading, “this rain is going to ruin our soccer day if it doesn’t clear up soon.” The rain was pelting down on the windscreen as I slowly crept my way along the freeway. As I turned into NCC, the rain had thankfully begun to clear up so my hopes were beginning to rise. After setting up the shelters for our school, I could feel the sun on my back and heard buses approaching. It would be an exciting day.
The air was almost electric with anticipation as Edinburgh, Gilson and Heritage arrived to join Nunawading at the annual Adventist School Victoria (ASV) Soccer Competition. The huge trophy glittered on the score table ready to be claimed by the winning team at the end of the grand final that afternoon. Of course, we hoped that Heritage would be taking it back on the bus later, but first, we had to play some soccer. After gathering all the schools together, Mr Waldrip talked through the day and prayed for each team. Now it was time to beginning the battle, to see who would reign supreme in the ASV Soccer, 2018.
Our first game against Gilson College Mernda was close. Mernda scored an early goal, slipping the ball past our goalie. The ball went back and forth on the field with both goalies defending well. The feeling of tension began to rise, as we began the second half. Mernda had managed to score another goal, taking the score to 2-0. At last, after several attempts, Josh managed to score our first goal. Loud cheers rose from the sidelines as the on-field team congratulated Josh. We could have a chance to even out the scores if we got one more goal...but it was not to be. The final whistle blew and we knew we’d lost the game.
Although we were a bit down, we tried to keep our spirits up and headed into our next game with Gilson College Taylor’s Hill, Team 2. The game didn’t go as planned. We played hard, but weren’t strong enough to win and were beaten 6-0. Even though it was a disappointing game, we kept our chins high and went full speed into our game against Nunawading. Nunawading were a tough team, but Joaquin scored our second goal of the tournament. Sadly again, we were beaten by Nunawading 3-1. Our hopes of snagging the trophy were slipping away before our eyes. But we kept our resilience up to finish our last 2 games before the finals.
Playing Edinburgh was again really tough and we were defeated in a 6-0 game. The last team we had to play was Gilson Taylor’s Hill Team 1. Our team fought hard and tried many different plays to score. Our goalie did a great job fending off many attempts at goal but we were again outplayed and devastated our team 10-0. We’d made it to the end of the preliminary games but hadn’t won a single game.
I’m sure you may be thinking that our team would be pretty down and out, dejected by the whole event. While we were disappointed that we didn’t make it into the grand final game, our team kept their positive attitude going, encouraging one another and looked forward to our last game of the day, against Gilson Mernda (who were currently in fifth place). Both teams played their hearts out, but our team surged ahead and kicked 4 goals to win the game 4-0. Screams of joy could be heard as our team celebrated our first and only win of the day. We hadn’t come last, but had manage to steal fifth place. As the final games came to an end, the results of each game were recorded and we gathered together for the trophy presentation. In third place, with a 4 goal win over Gilson Taylor’s Hill Team 2, was Edinburgh, winning 6-2. In second place, having fought the best team of the day in the grand final match, was Nunawading. With Gilson Taylors Hill Team 1, reigning victorious in a 3-1 win, their team stood up to receive their trophies from Mr Waldrip.
As we watched the perpetual trophy being carried away by Gilson, we felt a little disappointed, but also extremely proud. We had played as best as we could and although we didn’t win all of our games, or take home a medal or trophy, we stood tall in resilience and never gave up. A special Thank You goes to Mrs Mousaco, who joined us on the day and looked after Josh when he got sandwiched between two players, and helped to keep up our morale. We would also like to thank Mr and Mrs Saluni for coming to cheer on our team during our first 2 games. Of course, well done to Mr Waldrip for coaching our team through each game and a huge congratulations to our magnificent team. Although things didn’t go as we planned, you just kept going and represented our school with pride.
Mrs Jo Capon