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Note: I wrote this post the day after Gig Harbor played Olympia in the final League Match.  I did not get a chance to finish it off and post it but it seems appropriate that I push it out today.  Tonight at 7:00 PM at Roy Anderson Field is a rematch between these two teams in the WIAA State Round of 16 game. This match is a Loser out game so anything can happen and I am sure it will be just as dramatic as this last time these two teams met.

In the 2010 world Cup Luis Suarez was my hero.  Then the World Cup ended and Suarez quickly fell from my grace and still has not recovered his status in my eyes but that is a story for another blog.  What happened in the South Africa?  Luis Suarez intentionally handled the ball while standing on the goal line and prevented Ghana from scoring what was surely the game winning goal.  This particular foul is called Denying a Goal Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO) by use of Hands and results in a Sendoff (Red Card) and a Penalty Kick for the attacking team.  What most people don’t realize is a Penalty Kick is not a sure thing.  In this instance the Ghana player stepped up to the spot and kicked the ball over the top of the goal.  The score remained even at 1-1 as the clock expired in the OT period.  The game went to Kicks From the Mark and Uruguay advanced to the Semi-Finals.  Therefore Luis Suarez took a risk and kept his team in the game allowing them to eventually win the match.  That equals a hero in my mind.  Like I alluded to earlier shortly after that World Cup Suarez opened his mouth and either bit someone in a game or said some racist remarks and now he is no longer in my good graces.

You rarely see this at the youth level. Most times when a player is sent off for DOGSO at the youth level it is either a clumsy tackle that was just poorly timed or the players, coaches, spectators simply blame the referee for making the wrong call. As a referee I can tell you right now 9 times out of 10 it is the correct call.  Every once in awhile we can probably talk ourselves out of it but we are usually correct.

I recently was shooting a High School match between two teams that were battling it out for league champions.  The game was a real nail biter going back and forth between both teams.  Olympia High School scored first and Gig Harbor High School answered each time.  Gig Harbor had just gotten an extra goal in to go up 4-3 with 10 minutes left to play in the match.  That’s when a Gig Harbor forward got a lucky bounce off a misplayed ball and got in behind every Olympia player including the goal keeper.


Gig Harbor forward in behind the Olympia defense


Olympia defenders are trying to catch up to the Gig Harbor forward

The Olympia defender (in white) had to play catch up to try and prevent a goal.


The Olympia defender did catch up and pulled the Gig Harbor attacker backwards.


The Olympia defender then slide tackled the Gig Harbor attacker while pulling him down.

The Olympia defender was in the wrong position and desperate so the only choice he had was to foul him otherwise it was a sure goal for Gig Harbor and the game would be out of reach.


The result was a Send-Off for the Olympia player.

The ensuing Penalty Kick by Gig Harbor was saved by the Olympia Goal Keeper.  The score was still 4-3 with 10 minutes plus any added time left in the match.  Unfortunately, the Olympia team could not score and the Gig Harbor team got one more in the final minute to seal the win with a final score of 5-3.

In my Humble opinion the Olympia defender “took one for the team” and sacrificed himself to keep his team in the game.  With the Penalty being saved his team was in the game all the way until the last minute.  The Olympia player should be considered a hero by his teammates.