Last Sunday, IE women’s football team played against the strongest team of the league. They knew they were not ready to face them, especially since they could only have one substitute that day. The training that preceded Sunday’s game was not enough to prepare for it. Physically, the women were getting their shape back, however, mentally, they were all tired. The bad weather, the late trainings, the lack of commitment, the sickness of some members, the injuries of others and the accumulation of losses affected the women’s mental health.
They started the game heads up, and ready to fight. After having accumulated three goals in a snap of fingers, they stopped counting them and started focusing on their defense. They knew they couldn’t beat that team, but they had to save their honor and do everything they can to stop them from scoring. The end of the first half was the highest point of the game for the IE team, they didn’t let the opponent score any more goals, and Ainara scored the first IE goal before the whistle blow. Hugrun, a new Icelandic player, scored the second goal during the second half and the team captain, Pamela, scored a goal too.
However, the team started the second half with a smile. They knew their bodies won’t be able to fight at the same intensity, but they weren’t ready to give up. In fact, giving up wasn’t even an option. Whenever a ball was stopped or deviated, they would scream on the field and encourage each other. They accumulated more goals, but it didn’t affect their mood. They kept their heads up and continued fighting. The opponent was fast, strong and skilled, but the IE team was enjoying itself on the field. The opponent was impressed by the good spirit of the IE team. Normally, when a team is losing, the members turn against each other and start criticizing each other. However, the IE team showed incredible support proving that football is more than just winning and losing, it’s about being nice to each other, supportive and having fun. The team members couldn’t stop laughing after the game. They knew they did their best, they knew the score could have been worse for them, just like it could have been better if the rest of the team members were present, but they didn’t complain. Instead, losing together brought them together and showed how amazing their bond is.
After the game, the women decided to celebrate their loss. They enjoyed playing against the best team in the league. They enjoyed losing together. But most importantly, they loved the fact that for all of them, winning or losing is not the priority. They are already planning their future team event, probably a potluck, to give the opportunity for the new members to know each other and the rest of the team. The league is not over yet, the team has many more games coming up, and if they keep the good vibe and the good spirit, everything is possible. After this game, it was obvious that these women play football because they love the sport, because they love the team vibe, and because they want to have a good time and meet new people.