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GOALS Lauren Hass, a senior at The Emery/Weiner School, has been playing soccer since she was 4 years old. (Photo: hartphoto.com)
Yes! Yes! Yes!” 6-year-old me shouted excitedly, jumping up and down after one of my recreational-soccer games. At this moment, I was ecstatic that the other team’s coach thought I had talent and had offered me a spot on the club-level team.
Soccer has been a significant part of my life since I started playing on a recreational team right after my fourth birthday. I instantly fell in love with the game, not only because of the post-game candy and juice boxes, but because of the thrill I felt on the field. By running from one side of the pitch to the other, stealing the ball, and scoring goals, I felt invincible. It was the ultimate satisfaction when that coach noticed my passions and helped boost my career to the next level.
With my new club-team jersey came more practices and games, including weekend-long tournaments. Although it was an enormous time commitment, my love for the sport only grew.
I dedicated my time, energy, and passion to my club team for many years before I shifted my focus to the varsity team at The Emery/Weiner School. These days, I spend my summer training for the start of the season in early October, when our 2-hour practices and bi-weekly games begin. The past three years, my team has made it to the playoffs, one year all the way to the semifinals, which was a first in our school's history.
As my final soccer season approaches, I am proud of successes on the field but also apprehensive to retire from a sport that has molded my character. In my heart, I know soccer is more than a sport but also a life lesson in passion and commitment. I am so grateful that coach noticed my potential on the field all those years ago and allowed me to grow up playing a sport I love.
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