This past weekend was Southwest Regionals. KnockOut went in seeded 4th with only two bids to Nationals. Saturday looked great, we went undefeated beating Safari (number 1 seed) after losing to them 15-3 at sectionals. While I didn't enjoy some of their spirit and cheers (especially considering there was peewee soccer only 20 feet away), it was an epic game with great play from both teams. Our last game on Saturday was against Mucho Gusto, I had a lot of fun playing against them. The lines opened up quite a bit and I got a lot more playing time. I played well and had a few good assists. Anyways, we were all pumped after going undefeated on Saturday and had our eyes on the prize.
Our team decided to head to Olive Garden and take advantage of their Never Ending Pasta deal. My personal record was 3 bowls with the 4th one to-go. Obviously, being at regionals and having to play the next day, it was not the time to break the record. But I aimed to at least destroy 2.5 bowls. We sat at the bar and the service was iffy at best. The key to eating the most is to eat quickly so your stomach doesn't have time to realize you're full until it's too late. If you've ever ate with me, you know I use this tactic and inhale my food. But since the service was not the best, I had two bowls but by the time the waiter came around again, my food had settled and there was no way I could finish a third. After dinner, since we were only a few minutes north of Camarillo, our car decided to hit the outlets. It was a good Saturday.
Took an ice bath Saturday night (forgot how painful those were), and I was too excited to sleep with my mind on the prize. We were to play Molly Brown twice on Sunday. One game to finish up pool play, and the second as finals (since we both had went 4-0, we were both guaranteed to make finals). We lost both games while Safari won the 3rd/4th game. Now it was time for back door bid, it was the match up that we knew we would face from the start. We were 1-1 against Safari, our most recent win being from the day before. It was game time.
We took half 8-6. Things were looking good. I was getting ahead of myself. I've never been this close to nationals before. My previous game-to-go was Regionals 2007 against UBC. At that point, the Pleiades were down to 11 players after defeating UW in a hard fought game. I was a rookie then, I didn't understand the importance nor the significance of it. Three years later, I understood. I think it is fair to say that Safari didn't beat us in the second half, we did. Unforced turns, little mistakes add up. Not that it would've changed the game, but I do think the observers made a few bad calls (though I'm sure Safari would've thought the same on a few calls in favor of us). In the end, Safari won 15-9 and our season was over. I do hope to make it to the big show someday..
Moving on.. it sucks when you hear about people who wouldn't listen to you but now realize you are right and are making the change. I mean, good for them but I can't help but be a little bitter and resent it. Though even if they did listen to me, don't know if it would've made a difference. But still, I know what I was talking about and it sucks that you had to make those mistakes in my last year. Hopefully, it'll make a difference and in the future no one will feel the way I do now. At least some people learn from their mistakes. If only you didn't waste them on me.