Saturday, April 15, 2017

Panthers win 4th straight

Today's 4-0 victory was our second against Ardmore's Mean Green Soccer Machine. After a season-opening loss to the Madill Soccer Strikerz on March 12th, the Spartans are now 4-1

House Rules

Emilio, Pablo, and Nina enjoy making up games to play with each other. "Filthy Chihuahua" is an long-ime favorite.

"Fluffy Dog" is not quite as popular as "Filthy Chihuaha." Emi says It was more popular when they were still allowed to play on Mommy's bed.

"Our Friend, the Worm" is a new title.

Nina plays up

Nina is in the U-10 league this season and should be in U-10 next year, too, but she enjoys playing up a division when she gets a chance. So we drove her to Atoka today, where she helped out the Ada Falcons.

After the game, the U-12 coach commended her to me for her hustle and her ball control.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Ticket to Ride: Europe

Today is the day we pay the reservation fees for the trains that will take the five of us from Madrid to Hendaye (France), to Paris, to Bruges, to the Hague, to Amsterdam, to Trier (Germany), to Berlin, to Rome, to Turin, to Barcelona, to Malaga, and back to Madrid. The red trains on the gameboard show our itinerary.
To honor this momentous occasion, Nina played a game of Ticket to Ride: Europe with Mari and me while Emilio watched the Rangers and Pablo listened to an audio version of The Lord of the Rings.

This is what Nina looks like after she has beaten her mother and me in a game of Ticket to Ride Europe, with a little help from Emilio.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

April moon Pablo

Soccer strong

Three footballers, three teams, three games, two wins, and six of their teams' seven goals. Saturday = success.

Nina and Pablo on Loan

After Nina's first game in Ardmore, Coach Wes--who also coaches a co-ed U-10 team--told us that they needed players for his 2:30 game. Nina, Pablo and Audrey agreed to help out, so after a quick pit stop at a little Irish restaurant, Emi gave Pablo his shin guards and they switched socks and shorts. When we got back to the field, Coach Wes's daughter Belle gave Pablo her shoes, and Coach Wes gave him an extra jersey we had.

On the sideline before the game, Coach Wes said he needed someone to play goalie, and Nina volunteered. Coach Wes hesitated--I suspect, now, because he was hoping for Nina to lead the attack, but she insisted, and he, eventually, relented.

It did not go well. Most of the game traffic was on our half of the field.

Pablo, on the other hand, found himself with more field to work with in the midfield than he usually does when playing with the Panthers.

Pablo makes a run late in the first half and gets off a shot on goal.

At halftime, we're in a hole, the refs drop by to discuss the mercy rule, and Coach Wes gives Nina a peptalk. I think one of the reasons our net was under siege is that Nina was not in the field, threatening the net on the other end of the field.

Nina starts the second half at center forward.

It is soon evident that Nina is going to put pressure on the other team's defense.

This is the first score for either team in the second half--and the fourth game in a row in which Nina has scored.

Pablo and Nina: on the attack! Pablo almost sneaks one in.

The blues got in two goals late, but we were winning for most of the second half--a remarkable turnaround from the first half onslaught, and a persuasive argument for playing Nina on the front end.

Shining Emeralds, Game Five

For the record, I missed the Shining Emeralds' fourth game last week because I had to take Honors students to the Great Plains Honors Conference in Beaumont. But I am told that we were down 1-2 late in the second half when, for the second week in a row, Nina scored the equalizer.

Nina rode to her 12:00 game in Ardmore with Audrey and her dad, Ken, because Emilio had a game in Ada that started at 10. As soon as Emi's game was over, we rushed to Ardmore, and arrived just before half-time. Ken informed us that Nina scored in the first few seconds of the first half, and no one had scored since.

All of these photos were taken in the second half.

Final score: Emeralds 1, Crazy Cleats 0. Nina's first-half goal was the difference maker. She is now on a three-game scoring streak.