Under the setting sun the SEU ladies fight to keep their title against Palm Beach Atlantic who threatens to take it. The crowd seemed calm as the team ran back and fourth on the field, seemingly equally yoked with the opposite team. The smell of popcorn fills the air as we enjoy another themed soccer game, this time Circus O’le. Blow up bounce houses fill the Destino/ Esperanza parking lot and students eagerly climb in, letting their inner child out.
Small gold fish are bowl-ed and bagged for those students lucky enough to toss a small ring around a smaller bottle. Cotton candy tubes are dropped without ceremony as the stands as boys painted up to show true Southeastern Spirit show up. Bringing their own paint, they create school spirit for those wishing to partake. The fans in the stands are willing to cheer for something, but with 45 minutes past in the first half and no scores to be shown for either side, it seems unnecessary.
At the start of the second half, it already seems more of an exciting game. There are six more men painted up and shirtless. A small bit of feminism rises up and wonders if this is fair, but it is quickly diminished when a great pass is made across the field causing the air to get sucked out with fervent anticipation.
The ball goes out of bounds and the crowd goes back to their easy conversation. Shouts of annoyance are raised as a call is called against one of our players. Rightly so, as #6 had kicked another player in the chest going for the ball still being played in the air. Fighting for our team the ball goes to the goalie. Cheers are screamed as the ball moves faster. When the PBA goalie catches it, sounds of awhs and Next Time emanate from the crowd.
With 15 minutes left in the game and still no points on the board, people started leaving. The 1/2 naked men remained cheering on our Lady Fire on, and about half of the originally onlookers. The game getting more intense with the dwindling time, each player hoping to bring their school a victory. The sheer unnerving determination is a mask that they all wear as they glance over their shoulder and pass the blue and white ball. A kick towards the goal has those who are still sitting to move to the edge of their seats. It was kicked high and went over the net. A breath of relief for those cheering for PBA and a groan of annoyance from the Fire.
With 8 minutes left and a change in the line up, the women feeling tired after a long, intense game fight through. Standing together with linked arms to block the ball being kicked into play, the show the unity that this team has created. Proving to be friends and teammates, they each shout encouraging words to each other seeming not to hear the chanting of “lets go fire, lets go!”
Two minutes left in the game and it seems to be over, the ball being played with on PBA’s half, yet not going closer to the goal. The ball doesn’t seem to touch the ground. With a quick switch, a PBA student breaks through our women and makes a goal just as the timer for the game goes out. A discrepancy goes through all of the fans, yet the refs all agree that the goal is good. PBA takes the win 1 to 0. The ladies stand together in a circle and pray as the SEU fans continue to cheer for our lady fire!
The entire soccer team, in a unity untapped by most students walk in a line across the field parallel to the fans that stood by their side. They sang together about how they will still go Nationals and their mission as members on the team was for God. A cheer unheard of before erupted and sent the student body off with a feeling of euphoria.