Sunday, February 24, 2008

Soccer Celebrations That Made The Newspaper

Once upon a time I played competitive soccer. Even though I went on to play in college at Cal Poly SLO, the pinnacle of my career was my senior year in high school when I helped the Santa Rosa Panthers win the North Coast Section (NCS) championship. Most of my greatest soccer moments can only be remembered in my mind, but luckily for me, a few of them made the newspaper.

Newspaper photo number 1: Santa Rosa Press Democrat (October, 1997)

It was against Rancho Cotate, our second meeting of the year. We had lost the first match-up down in Rohnert Park 2-0. Our second contest was a huge game, and we needed the win the secure to best record in the league at that point. I scored the games only goal in the second half off of Ryan Smith's corner kick. Ryan's cross didn't come straight to me, but after a few deflections it came my way, slightly bouncing. I timed it so my laces struck the ball when it was a few inches above the grass, on it's way down. My shot from about the penalty spot hit the side netting, just outside of the reach of Rancho's diving goalie. Once I saw the ball hit the net, I was more pumped up than I've ever been in my life - seriously. I put my hands up in the air and ran back down the field screaming and seemingly floating. Here's what my celebration looked like:


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Newspaper photo number 2: Santa Rosa Press Democrat (November, 1997)

This next one was from the day after we won the NCS Championship my senior year. We beat Cardinal Newman 3-1. They scored first, but I scored soon after their goal. I took a beautiful ball (once again from Ryan Smith) down to the ground with my chest, let it bounce once, and volleyed it into the back of the net. This goal, however, did not make the paper, but is the most memorable goal I've ever scored in my life.

The goal that made the picture was our third goal of the game, which I scored on a penalty kick. The cool thing about this photo was it was pictured twice - once in the sports section and once on the top right corner of the front page! I felt famous for a day.


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Newspaper photo number 3: San Luis Obispo Tribune (September, 1999)

My third time getting pictured in the newspaper for soccer was in college. It was one of my first college games, and was my first ever college goal. It was against the University of Illinois - Chicago. My first half goal made the game 1-0 and we ended up winning the game 2-1. Greeting me for a hug is #9 James Newton - who we called Sugar, or Sug - and behind me is Spencer Frankenburger.

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My days of picking up the newspaper with the possibility of seeing my face in it are long gone. However, I'm extremely thankful that these pictures were taken and that my mom reached out to the respective newspapers to secure me a copy of each of these photos. Thanks mom!

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