As the HCYA Hurricanes arrived in Missouri, there was a strong feeling that something special was about to happen.
Before the first game, Coach Austin spoke to the team about fellowship and unity, and explained that this was a time to come together and support each other. This theme translated into the game as HCYA Hurricanes demonstrated outstanding teamwork to clinch a 4-0 victory. This drew the attention of many teams! The Dallas Angels were impressed and worried about who they could face in the finals. So as the Angels stayed to watch the Hurricanes’ next game the tension built between the teams.
HCYA had a short break before the next game and as the girls refueled at Subway, Dallas was playing their first game against a team they easily surpassed. The Hurricanes arrived back and waited for their second game. After their inspirational performance in the first game, Coach Austin used this as motivation for the second game at Nationals: how players can inspire others on and off the field. As the “storm of the Hurricanes” continued to hit Missouri, the HCYA girls surpassed their second test 3-0 being to earn themselves a spot in the National Championship game against the Dallas Angels.
After hitting a couple of bumps leading up to the Final (not being able to find the field; change of game location 30 minutes before kickoff) the Hurricanes were always ready to adapt. Before stepping on the field, Coach Austin had a few last words for the Hurricane Ladies relating to an Old Cherokee legend. This seemed to light a fire under the players, a fire of passion and drive for the team. It seemed to wipe away all the injuries and fatigue as they all prepared for one last battle to see who would lift the Homeschool Christian National Championship Trophy.
Leading the Hurricanes onto the field were two vital concepts, “Everything – Everytime”. concepts which had encouraged the ladies the whole tournament. As the game kicked off, the wind was blowing and the Hurricanes decided to use it to their advantage for the first half. With the wind at their back, the Hurricanes were crashing the opposing goal time after time, but unfortunately shots would go wide or miss the target. Going into half time the score was tied 0-0, but Coach Austin continued to remind the players to give everything they have every time they step onto the field. The Angels stuck first in the second half with a goal from 25 yards out, but the Hurricanes hit back almost immediately following a tremendous cross to the back post.
As the passion arose from the stands and from the sidelines, it seemed a new life had been breathed into the Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the Angels capitalized off a corner kick and made the score 1-2. As “Everything – Everytime” passed through the minds of the Hurricanes they began to put pressure on the Angels after adapting to different circumstances. With just 8 minutes remaining in the game, the Hurricanes equalized following a corner and a smart finish under pressure inside the penalty area. Two 10 minute overtimes would be issued for both teams, and under the “Golden Goal” rule, whichever team scored first would be crowned “National Champions 2013.”
Amazingly (agonizingly!) the overtime period remained goalless, so the Final would be decided on a penalty kick shootout. Though the Hurricanes were unsure of how this would end, they still prayed and thanked the Lord for the opportunity to play at Nationals.
As the Dallas coach selected his top five players and told them they had to take penalties, the Hurricanes coach had a different approach. He asked who was confident and willing to step up and take a penalty with confidence. After 14 penalties, (some missed, some were blocked and most converted), the HCYA Lady Hurricanes came out victorious over the Dallas lady Angels.
The passion that erupted from the girls and the travelling parents was unbelievable! For the first time in their short history, HCYA had produced a monumental victory: National Champions 2013.
Thank you to the players, the parents and the Sports Quest coaching staff for making this possible!
-Written by Austin Deniz - Coach