Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Emotion wins games

Westmont men's soccer has a reasonable record this 2008 season, but nothing brilliant. They squeaked in to a final game and the brilliance began. They won 2-0 over Azusa Pacific (coached by the brother of the Westmost coach) to go to the NAIA National tournament.

Why? Well, literally they had a spark. The Santa Barbara fire in November took out part of their small campus, including (among others) the house of their their own soccer team's coach. From the Santa Barbara Independent:

The homes of 14 faculty members were destroyed by the fire, including those of three longtime coaches — Russell Smelley, the cross-country and track coach since 1979; Kathy LeSage, head coach of women’s tennis since 1985; and Dave Wolf[see picture of Dave and his wife at their burned home], who took over the men’s soccer program in 1991 and now also guides the women’s team and serves as athletic director.

It is hard to NOT play with inspiration and a sense of righting a wrong like a major lose by someone close to you.

Next week they play on in Fresno. Will the emotion give way to other better skilled teams? We find out in 5 days. Drama will be high, win or lose.

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