This past Saturday my Dixie Youth Soccer Association team, the Rainbow Nerds won for the sixth time in a row since a season open defeat. The Rainbow Nerds beat all three other Dixie teams, making them the best Girls Under 12 team this year out of the Dixie program. The final score of the latest victory was 6-1, which matches our season record. Not only are we the best Dixie team, but we are also currently ranked #1 in the league with one game to play in the regular season.
Going into the half the score was 4-1 but two quick goals after the break by Elizabeth aka la Máquina and the deficit was suddenly 5 goals and I had to tell the kids not to score anymore. In Dixie there is a Slaughter Rule, where teams are instructed not to run scores up by more than five goals. Coaches get in trouble when the goal differential gets any larger, so the girls didn’t try to score again and rarely drove the ball past midfield.
Coming in at the halftime I also let the girls know we couldn’t give up any more goals. We were tied in losses with the only team that beat us this year (Ross Valley 1) going into the weekend, and they had given up 7 goals for the year and we had given up 5. Goals against is the first tie breaker, and in case we ended the season tied with them I wanted to stay ahead in the standings by giving up less goals.
So the Rainbow Nerds were trapped in a limbo of sorts, they couldn’t score and they couldn’t allow a score. I had my daughter Skylee guarding their best player, and when I took her out for another player I heard her say, “Guard her with your life,’ as the two passed each other on the field. ‘I’m joking, but not really. Guard her with your life!” Skylee returned to play more and guard the same player. When I took her out again she barked the same orders to her replacement, “Guard her with your life!” The Rainbow Nerds might have a funny name but they aren’t fooling around.
The six goals was the biggest offensive output of the season for the Rainbow Nerds. Not only did la Máquina score a hat trick with her three goals, Tough as Nails Gabriella scored her first goal of the season on a penalty kick after getting knocked down in the goalie box while trying to score. Gabriella dusted herself off, stared down the goalie and calmly slammed a ball into the net well beyond the goalie’s lunge. Not to be outdone, Giavonna the Great scored her first two goals of the season as well, easily outmaneuvering defenders on her way to the net.
Perhaps the biggest issue facing the Rainbow Nerds with one week left in the regular season is that we have only played one team ranked currently lower than #10, and that Ross Valley team literally blew us out. The final score was 4-1, but the game never felt that close and only a goal in the waning minutes by la Máquina salvaged our spirits on that day and kept the score respectable.
Since that opening Saturday the Rainbow Nerds have swept the Dixie teams, swept both San Anselmo teams, and beaten one of two Ross Valley teams. We face a third Ross Valley team this coming Saturday in the regular season finale. All we need to do now is win and we finish the season with a 7-1 record and a #1 seed going into the playoffs. The Ross Valley team is currently ranked eighth, so this will be our toughest test since week one. Game on.