“82-0?! That sounds like a basketball score!” said my mother when I called her after the game. It is true and the most points in a game I’ve ever played in. It’s important to note a couple of things about this score. Firstly, it is not indicative of any intention to run up the score. We filtered people in and out deep from our bench and switched everyone around but Utah just is in a rough spot this year. They are down in numbers and brought with them only 17-18 players, it’s their second road trip to the Seattle area in as many weeks, and their coach from last year passed away. They just didn’t have the fire power. But they never ever quit and wanted to continue to play for the joy of playing.
Now, I have been on the other side of the coin. I have played on teams with low numbers and never came off the field. Actually, most of my career was spent in this way. One game we played with 13 people against Central Cal, a historically physical team, in Fresno in 100 degree weather. That didn’t work out so well but we didn’t quit either. Not every team has that heart to them that Utah does or my previous teams did. In that moment, you are exhausted. You can’t catch your breath. You eventually wear down physically because the other team has tons of subs and can stay fresh and you are struggling to get back to the huddle. In that moment, you have a choice, do you put it in cruise control and just try to get out of there alive? Or do you continue to fight? Personally, I really don’t have a quit button so I continued to fight. You then realize that it becomes no longer about the score but you can choose to try to get experience and get better each play. Because if you can get your ass kicked but still learn and get better, it’s going to pay off in the long run. Football ebbs and flows and if you are able to hang tough in the lean moments you will be that much better when the tide turns.
After the game, we decided to surround the Utah team and tell them how much we appreciated them. And after we went into the locker room, we decided to go into theirs and tell them again. If anything, I told my mother that I was way more proud of the way we conducted ourselves than about the 82-0 score. When you win by that much you also have a choice and we chose to be honorable. And really that’s what the game is about. That’s what this women’s game gives you that the men’s doesn’t always. We appreciate every moment because we had to fight for every moment. Because of that, we are all winners each time we take the field.
Our next game is this coming Saturday at Everett. Everett has historically been more physical and I’m personally looking forward to that. That type of game brings the best out of me and I look forward to having us tested in that way.