Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don't Fear The Reaper

I've been trying to write about last night's women's league game, but it's been hard to organize my thoughts into something cohesive. Lemme try though...

We lost 5-2. It was Captain Cornerpicker's team and she was actually there for the first time since the horrible spiraling nightmare game a while back. I think only one of their good players was out (didn't miss her, either). We were without some of our better players, so it was clear from the get go that we were the underdogs.

My d-man came over before the game and reminded me to "smile pretty!" basically saying just have fun because you're about to get hammered.

Aaaand she was right. To the tune of 32 shots per our score keeper (11 at the other end). Keep in mind, we only play a total of 39 minutes. In a 60 minute game, that would have been a 49 shot pace. I had to do math to figure that out. You're welcome.

The first period was the hardest. We just couldn't clear the zone and when we did, it was literally JUST cleared, they got onside, and came right back in. Add in a brutal PK (luckily only 1 minute penalties due to the short periods) and I was dizzy with exhaustion by the time I got to the other net for the second period.

I was proud of myself for shaking it off and digging deep and not giving up. And thank god I doubled up on the pasta during the day! I needed every bit of that energy.

During the second, Captain Breakaway finally got her first unimpeded shot at me. She does this crazy shit where she comes in and basically glides to a stop a couple of feet outside the crease and wants to just wait the goalie out. Make a move, tendy, and then I'll put it around or over you. She really can put the puck anywhere she wants.

And she keeps her head up so it's difficult to surprise her. So I've gotta find a way to take advantage of the fact that she is looking at me. I think there are lots of ways to do that, so I'll just have fun with trying to solve her, rather than beating myself up when I can't. She's an A-league level player and her beating me isn't an indictment on me. But if I didn't try to learn from it, it would be. (Fuck me, is that some level-headed shit or what?)

That said, I DID stop her first breakaway attempt. I stayed up, waited her out and batted it away with my blocker. The second one, not so much. I just couldn't get a read on the trajectory off her stick for whatever reason as she roofed it glove side.

I was pissed but still proud that I'd stopped her earlier and that I wasn't taking the bait in her game.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't feel as much like her victim anymore, which is what I tend to feel when someone just has my number and doesn't seem to have qualms about making me look foolish. I went through this with another player back in novice, but once I started to realize some vulnerabilities in her game, I could just let the tension go and play her without all the alarm bells going off in my head.

The second period was pretty tough, too, but Teal started to slow down a SMIDGE and by the third, my exertion was back to a more sustainable level. But up until then, it was like bad sex... if I had a dollar for every time I yelled, "GET IT OUT!" I could have bought dinner for the team.

And I would have, because in spite of the lopsided appearance, they played really hard and did some great things in front of me. It could have been much worse if they hadn't been sharp. Their attitude was great, too. They were having fun, not worried about the score, and that filtered back to me. It just felt like we were really on the same page.

I was very grateful for and embarrassed by all the kudos I got from pretty much everybody, from the ref to the other team to my own teammates, who opened their wallets at the bar and made sure I wasn't feeling any pain. :) So, I guess you just never know what your best game looks like.

I just know I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for everything I got out of last night. An unreal game, some precious bonding with teammates, and some demons sent packing.

And since one of our fans busted out the cowbell during our game, I have to play this song because I kept thinking about it every time I heard the song.


maalivahti  March 2, 2011 at 2:33 PM  

Dude. If A-level chick is doing crap like that (skating in and just stopping and waiting), it's an indictment on HER. Playing games with the goalie when you're on a totally different skill level is pure d-baggery.

Anyhoo... it sounds like you've found that group to be a part of now, rather than "just the goalie in the corner". Very cool.

wychwood  March 2, 2011 at 4:17 PM  

Next time she does the "stop and wait" thing, you should channel your inner Tim Thomas and leap out of the net onto her. Who cares if they score, after that? *g*

Ms. Conduct  March 2, 2011 at 4:31 PM  

Yeah, eventually I will resort to a "okay, I'll make you think twice about this strategy" strategy. Linebackergoalie....

Nick in New York  March 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

totally agree with the other comments. A couple feet out of the crease means she's within reasonable distance for an aggressive diving poke. I would do it as she's skating in, before she stops. Maybe it results in a goal-against. But I bet she thinks twice about that "move" next time...

Ms. Conduct  March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM  

Yeah, the urge to stop her proper-like is strong though. Helps that Bob Mason (yeah, THAT Bob Mason) told me last night to just read and react. Wait her out. Which is what I did.

We'll see. Might do a little of both. :)

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