Monday, December 14, 2009

A photo is worth a million words

This photo was in my morning paper:

photo by Phil Masturzo of the Akron Beacon Journal

I found it extremely touching.

Let me explain. The University of Akron's men's soccer team was ranked #1 with an undefeated season going into the playoff games for the championship. The players are all talented and worked hard this season with their young and extremely effective coach to reach the championship's final game on Sunday against the University of Virginia, ranked #2.

At the end of 90 minutes of play the score was 0-0. This was followed by two scoreless ten minute "golden goal" periods. So the championship game came down to penalty shots. Each team had five shots on goal.

UVA scored on their first penalty kick. Akron's first penalty kick was blocked. Score 1-0 UVA. UVA scored two more times, and so did Akron, score 3-2 UVA.

Then hope sprouted as Akron's talented goalie blocked the next two UVA shots. If Akron scored with their last kick, the score would be tied and would send the teams into another five-shot penalty kick showdown.

We watched with anticipation - the Akron player ran to the ball, kicked... and the ball flew over the goal.

Final score UVA 3 - Akron 2, and the soccer team's chance to go down in history as the team with the perfect season and a championship win to top it off - dashed.

You cannot even imagine how the team looked after that missed goal. Completely devastated. Beyond completely devastated.

And that's why the picture of our mascot, Zippy, comforting one of the senior players afterward, touches me so much.

Zippy wasn't voted the nation's favorite collegiate mascot for nothing.


jo©o said...

I'm afraid this sort of thing is outside my sphere of experience. On a level with wishing each other's dogs happy birthday, as bloggers are now doing.
Sorry. Just wanted to say 'good morning, i wazhere'.

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

Good morning to you, too!