A mixed bag.

The new co-ed beer league soccer season started a few weeks ago. I was optimistic heading in: my team, the Stubby Holders, won our division’s regular season and finished second in the cup, and we were adding at least one new player. We bought new, lightweight jerseys and picked our own numbers. We were going to play on relatively new fields with real grass instead of old, hard fields that had entirely too much sand. I bought a new pair of cheap Nike cleats, which is notable because usually their cleats aren’t wide enough for me. Everything was looking up.

The good news: my cleats are fine, the jerseys are comfortable, and for the first time I’m wearing number 76. I’ve scored in every game, I’ve scored half of our team’s goals and assisted on all the others.

The bad news: we lost two key players, we’ve lost all three games and been outscored 34 to 6. In fact, we’ve given up more goals than any two other teams combined. We were winning the first game 1-0 for 20 minutes, then it all fell apart (10-2). We were two people short for the second game (14-3), so losing badly didn’t surprise us. And then there was today’s game.

Today we played the only team that beat us in the last regular season. We lost that game 3-1 after blowing a late lead. We saw this game on the calendar and thought it’d be our first win of the year and a good chance for revenge. However, today’s opponent fielded what looked like a very different team, with at least three new players from the top division. They led 4-0 at halftime, but we scored early in the second half and it looked like we might come back. We were getting opportunities in the attacking third, we were keeping the opposing offense outside the box, and our goalie was making some big saves. Then everything collapsed. They scored 6 goals in the last 10 minutes. They’d shoot right at the goalie, the ball would go right past him. They’d shoot nowhere near the goalie, the ball would bounce off one of our guys and go in. It was insane. Final score 10-1.

The problem is that we moved into the middle division by doing so well in the bottom division last season. Our first two opponents moved down from the top division, and today’s opponent had a few guys from the top division. Oh well. We’d like to get at least a few wins out of this season before getting relegated back to the bottom.