Saturday, May 21, 2011

The agony and the ecstasy

This was going to be the lead shot for the story on Millennium High girls soccer team Division VII section championship game.  It was going to read something like this:

MHS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP GAME1  (05-21-11) Millennium High goalkeeper Brianna Murawski reacts to missing the block on the third Faith Christian score putting the Millennium Falcons down late in the second half of their section championship game Saturday afternoon.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

Nice shot, clean, it has lots of emotion.  Only problem is Millennium didn't lose.  In an improbable comeback down 3-2 with seconds left they would go on to win 5-3 in overtime.

The last game of the year  and all bets are off.  It is free wheeling on the camera, shoot as many shots as I can with as much different action.  With a championship game I also look for those reaction shots, displays of emotion win or lose that sometimes tell far more than any action shot could.  So with the clock winding down I positioned myself for what I though would be photos of the team heading off the field after the loss.  I had switched to two long lenses so I could keep a discrete distance if anyone was overwhelmed and crying.  Funny thing happened as I got ready-Millennium tied the score and we were headed to overtime.  

High school playoffs call for two ten minute overtime periods, no sudden death.  If the scored was tied after that they go to penalty kicks.  The first OT was uneventful and as the clock drew close to the end of the second Millennium scored once on a penalty kick from a foul inside the box and with about a minute left a second insurance goal sealed their victory.  Back to a short lens to get some close up stuff of the team's celebration.
The whistle sounded and the team headed to the sideline.  There was some hugging and cheering but nothing too spectacular.  Then I noticed the goalkeeper who had been so upset just a short while ago celebrating with coaches.  It was most definitely the agony and the ecstasy of sports.  A few short minutes and a world of difference in pictures.  I still like the first picture, I think it tells a different part of the story.  It went from being a record of defeat to another chapter in their road to a championship. 

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