How I Became the MVP of My Preschool Soccer Team

I knew I had a passion for playing soccer very early on in my life. When I was four-years old, I played on a coed team run by my preschool. It was hardly structured; just a bunch of toddlers, with the energy of lightning bolts compacted into a three-and-a-half foot body, all flocking after a small ball on a twenty yard field. There was a complete disregard as to who was on who’s team, and what one actually was supposed to do when they got the ball. If you were so lucky as to have the ball roll to your feet, you just tried to keep it for as long as you could before a teammate came by and snagged it.

One game, during half-time, when both teams were gathered around on their respective ends of the field enjoying orange slices and staring blankly back at parents who were trying to give advice, I had actually managed to score my first goal. My team had finished our little gathering early and began to take the field, awaiting for the other team to finish up. The whole time, I was eyeing the ball sitting in solitude in the middle of the field, ready for the start of the next half.

Just as the other team had finished and began to make their way over to their spot on the field, I ran to the center to steal the ball before the second half could even start. I dribbled away, catching the other team off guard as they looked on in distress, not realizing that what I was doing was against the rules. They tried to chase after me, but my short legs were blazing down the field where the miniature soccer goal awaited. With one last step, I drew my leg back and launched my foot forward against the ball as hard as I could. The ball rolled along the ground and into the goal.

I threw my arms up in celebration and turned to my team who were cheering. I looked on at the other team, their eyes beginning to tear up; I looked on to our coach, who rubbed his forehead with his hand; I looked onto the parents who were shouting in protest at the coaches and referees. But the most memorable moment was when I looked over at my grandpa, who came to watch, and with a big grin, he raised his hand up high and gave me a thumbs up. I returned his gesture, and made my way back to my side of the field. I felt like I was walking on clouds.

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