I picked Solstice up from her friend's house & we went straight to her game yestermorn. Of course, as we got to the field, I got a call from Stephanie that went like this:
"Do you know where my keys are?"
"Shit! They're in my pocket."
20 minutes later we were back @ the field & Solstice's team was warming up. They played really well & notched up a W for the Panthers U9. The game ended 7-3 but for some poor refereeing decisions it could have been 8 or 9. Watching her start to enjoy the game is great. Her 1st couple seasons were a bit rough, but she always claimed to like it. This time she was really having fun. A few of the other kids on the team have been w/ us since she was in 2nd grade & their improvement has been fun to watch too. This year is their 1st w/ goalies & throw-ins, & it must be said that 1 of the kids is a top-class keeper in the making. He's kinda nuts... diving @ people's feet and throwing himself in front of the ball. At this level, I can't keep him in goal all the time, but soon enough he'll be our #1.
An hour after the match it was Aiden's turn to play. While they lost, they put in a great showing of themselves. I'm afraid he might be a bit frustrated this season because he's now the oldest on his team & by far the most experienced. He set up a few goals w/ great through-balls, but the rest of the team wasn't able to do the same for him yet. At practice this week, we'll have to work on getting the kids to pay attention. I think we'll play some sort of socceresque version Simon Says. On the positive side, none of them were afraid of the 2 HUGE kids the other team had, 1 of which was on Aiden's team when he was in kindergarten. He was a brute then, but now... he's enormous. All in all, the Jaguars U8 were a joy to watch too, & certainly by the end of the season they'll be on course to win a few too.
As a side-note, during the game we got word that a cop had shot a man @ the playground near the fields. The kids who'd been there were crying (obviously totally freaked out). Apparently, what happened was a man showed up to take his kids from their game (& away from his ex-wife) against the court ruling. They got into a huge fight, a cop was called, & he overreacted... shooting the guy w/ a tranquilizer in front of a playground full of kids who all thought he was dead. I understand the need to subdue people, but that was poor judgement. He was carted off in an ambulance & she was arrested. And people claim soccer is boring.
Aiden's match started @ 11:45 & the Arsenal v Bolton match started @ 12:30 so I set the old DVR & after the game my dad & I raced home to watch it. After going down 1-0 due to a poor no-call when Almunia was hammered, the Gunners came back & it was 2-1 Arsenal by half-time courtesy of Eboue's 1st goal for Arsenal & then a nice finish by Bendtner. Bolton recovered well after the break, but Almunia & the Arsenal defense played well keeping things under control before Denilson slotted in a nice goal after a great run by Walcott & a fantastic cross from Adebayor. This 3-1 win sends Arsenal to the top of the table... @ least until the Chelsea Man U match in a 1/2 hour. If Chelsea doesn't win, Arsenal will remain a point clear of Liverpool... of course if Chelsea do win, Arsenal will only be a point out of 1st & some 8 points & 13 place ahead of Man U. Either way, it's a win-win for the Gunners.
Afterwards, we set up tents in the yard & had a little camp out... more to come on that later when I have the pictures.