Those of you who don’t follow soccer may be happy to hear that the boys’ season is almost over (will Foss ever stop writing about it?). All regular games will finish by the end of April, and May is reserved for various tournaments.
The past few weekends, they have settled in, and Jakob and Micah have begun scoring.
About a month ago, Jakob scored his first goal, but he hit it hard and high under the crossbar, so after it bounced across the line and back out, players weren’t sure it went it, so they kept on.
A week later, he scored his first official goal in an Italian match, nodding in a soft header at close range after it glanced off the keeper’s gloves:
Today Jakob played one of his best games, scoring twice, just missing a third, and getting two assists as Don Bosco trotted past Santa Sabina on a pale, breezy spring morning. In English, two goals is called a ‘brace‘ (after a hunting term for bagging two birds), and the same metaphor is used in Italian, but termed a ‘doppietta‘. For the first, Jakob took a botched clearance out of the air, passed to the center forward, whose shot hit the post and dribbled along the goal line past the prone keeper. Jakob then flitted past the home side’s defender and bashed it home, earning both hugs from his teammates, and a bit of complaint from his striker, who thought Jakob should have let it go over the line by itself! (Jake claims that wasn’t going to happen, so he made sure.) He soon after received a fine pass from Haurel, but put the first-time shot wide. In the third period, after a Santa Sabina defender kneed a high ball behind his line, Jakob raced onto it, and after a couple of touches, placed it home, just off the fingertips of the keeper and in off the post. Don Bosco hit the crossbar four times today, so at least Jakob helped to balance out their luck.
Meanwhile Micah has been gaining confidence, scoring nearly every match. Today against AC Perugia, he picked up a stray ball and hustled up the left wing (the coaches have freed him up from playing only on defense), and fired low and hard just inside the near post, surprising Perugia’s keeper (who was one of the better goalkeepers we’ve seen). The usual screaming, hugging, and rolling on the turf ensued. Behind the chain-link fence that surrounds their field, we weren’t in a position to get any pictures.
Simon is unlikely to get any goals (playing in defensive midfield), but put in a gritty performance against Nestor Calcio last Thursday, but his struggling team left with another loss. Thursday is probably their last opportunity to win a match, against last-place Ventinella.
The Ventinella game turned out to be tough, because instead of playing their third-division team (the one that actually plays in Don Bosco’s division), they sent half of their Regional team to play (two divisions up). So they turned out to be quite a difficult opponent. Still, Don Bosco was half-asleep in the first half, had little coherency, and was down 1-3 at the break. They improved after that, but only in the last ten minutes did things open up, and after increased pressure and a penalty that made it 2-3, chances built up to tie the match.
And then this happened:
Final score: 3-3. Simon was pretty happy about that play, esp. as he had been designated captain for this match. (Note on the audio: ‘Dai‘ [sounds like ‘die’] in Italian means ‘go for it, give it all you got’, not ‘perish’!)
On a broader scale, Castel Rigone Calcio continues to sink towards Serie D relegation, having lost their 7th out of last 8 games today, while AC Perugia, fighting to finish first and earn promotion into Serie B, came from behind to win and have drawn even with Frosinone at the top of the table.