They wore red black red that Saturday morning, their Flames Coat of Arms for the misty, cold beginning of games at Grand Avenue Park for the Kickin’ It Up In The Hills Soccer Tournament in Chino Hills. On a short-grassed, green and dirt-centered field, first opponent black white Ontario/Montclair was no match for Flames. Slipping and sliding, but in complete control of perfect touches on a fast ball, Flames amazed their inferior, who ran behind and at our sides, spending their entire minutes defending fire. We led 1 to 0 at halftime and then quickly, with some hot shot goals, ended their misery with a 6 to 1 victory.
We were eager, voracious in our soccer appetite to accomplish what we always set out to do, what we visualize for ourselves, what we dream day in and day out. Hope our bow and arrow. Our target, land at the end of our two-day quest, journey, our Hunger Games, alive and victorious.
Preparing for our AYSO National Games in July, Flames spend lunchtime selling Angels baseball raffle tickets for our drawing at SoccerFest. We are all in the midst of brainstorming fundraising ideas and setting goals for our Flames Family as we reach for the Knoxville, Tennessee, stars and the AYSO National Games in July. We must thank Teresa and Lisa for spearheading our race, keeping us all on track, and inspiring us to reach our target. WE CAN DO THIS.
Our next challenger is a 4:00 pm round with red Covina. And in the first ten minutes, black Flames claim a 3 to 0 lead, hold it easily, and as the sun broke free during the final moments of our Saturday and Game 2, we absorbed it all and more: a 4 to 0 shutout clean sweep.
After enjoying a nice sleep-in Sunday, we return to the soccer Cornucopia in the gorgeous hills below the cotton clouds. Awaiting us is black Canyon Country. With Mary’s cheering and chanting cheat sheet and a brigade so determined to get to that championship match later in the day, Flames play one of their hardest games against a team just as determined. A Flames free kick to our net, a header back out by Canyon, a Flames kick back in, and a header into our goal gives us a 1 to 0 lead. Canyon retaliates with a goal. We brutally hold them. It ends 1 to 1. That’s all we needed.
Heading to our 6:00 pm Championship showdown under the lights and artificial turf at Chino Hills Community Park, Flames will play previously beaten Walnut with hopes of a repeat winning. Ten minutes into our battle, we gain a 1 to 0 lead and quickly lose it to a 1 to 3 trail by halftime. “We’ve got lots of work to do” spins in our anxious heads. But it can be done. And by at least halfway into our second half, we did it and retaliated with two goals and a 3 to 3 score.
This last game of Chino Hills will never be forgotten. It can definitely be named one of the top two most out-of-your-seat, nailbiting moments of our season to date. We all can still feel and hear our crazy sideline, even to this day, I believe. Yes, we’re all nuts and full of cheerleading entertainment, just for you, Flames. It was a fierce fight between white and red you and the boys in blue, and we all felt it in our guts, our hearts, souls, we knew you could conquer. But in those final approximately 15 minutes, they stole one more goal from us. Our recovery was needed in minutes. Our soccer swordfight ended despairingly 3 to 4.
So, Flames, here we are days away from it all now. At the conclusion of four tournaments, we hold two Championships and two 2nd-place medals in our fists. There are no scars here. There is no shame. There is no containing our hope. This is nobility, fame, greatness, grace, magnificence, all of it made over 18 games in six weeks. This is 1 tie, 3 losses, and 14 wins of our journey. This was a milestone weekend with Hattrick Phil and Proud Papa loving Mauricio’s eagerly awaited amazing chest goal.
And we all know, every single one of us down to the bone, what our final outcome would have really been had we had our full team that final game in the hills.
So, Flames, carry on. Keep those fighting eyes open. Stay together. Listen to Isaiah, until every whistle, every bell. Everybody’s waiting. We’re all watching. YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING THEY DON’T. 2 wins, 1 tie, 1 loss, 1 shutout.
Next stop: Soccer Showdown, Santa Clarita, California, April 21 & 22, 2012.
Second place is not a defeat. It is a stimulation to get better. It makes you even more determined. Carlos Lopes via our Nilsa