Oct. 10, 2013
CHICAGO - Senior men's soccer player Josh Beard will be providing Flames' fans with an inside look into the 2013 squad with a weekly segment called `Blogging with Beard'. Beard will blog about team traditions, traveling, memorable moments and many other aspects that make the UIC men's soccer squad unique. Aside from being a starting defender for the Flames, Beard is also a communications major with an interest in creative writing.
Tuesday night against Eastern Illinois, we went into double overtime to decide the winner. In college soccer, overtime is different than it is at the pro or club level, we play two ten-minute overtimes that are Golden Goal.
Golden Goal means the first team to score a goal ends and wins the game, causing a lot of tension and nail biting on the sideline. We had gone down 1-0 to EIU and then tied the game in the last ten minutes. Going into overtime, we knew we had to find a way to win this game. On the bench, we were getting antsy, and everyone was standing during the overtime.
You have a different set of emotions flowing through your body during a Golden Goal overtime. Each one of us can feel the tension on the field and with every touch, every second ticking off the clock, we grow more nervous. Then the ball went out wide and got crossed in, suddenly everyone is honed in on the ball. The ball took a slight deflection off of an EIU player and toward senior Slobodan Aleksov. As the ball was in the air, we all began to hold our breath as Slobo swung his right foot. It is as if time stops, the ball hits the net, and emotions spill over your body. The entire bench clears as we sprint out to the field and swarm Slobo in celebration.
That feeling is unmatched, to win a game in the dying moments on your home field. The moment when your team scores in Golden Goal, that is pure ecstasy, that is why we play this game.