By 3rd grade I hadn’t increased in height, but had radically in width. I am confident “Big Fat Goalie” was a universal idiom in referencing me, though never explicitly addressed to me. I continue convinced I prevented so many goals not by my hands, but my mass.
One semi-final game I deflected a tremendous total of balls. Tied 0-0, my teammates toiled on the field, sprinting and scampering in several directions.
Then It happened. I observed as an attack assaulted first my midfielders, then defenders. Four girls on the other team loped through my last three protectors, I alone deposited in front of the goal. Ball-Handler blasted the ball far to my right. Reverberations resounded through my head as the ball clanked off the post and into the goal. I, disheartened, vainly suspended my tears and reached under the net to extract the ball. Still in the net, I kicked it to a lingering teammate, disappointment echoing through her face. I stepped forward to discover my glove immovably trapped in the net. I rapidly rotated, struggling, trying to loosen my caught glove with my other gloved hand. The game stalled due to my net-encased location and the referee inquired if I was okay. I replied in the affirmative, hoping he would just wait for me to loosen the net myself. But, he trotted to me and released my glove.
I got scored on and then the game delayed so the ref could liberate my glove from the net’s grip.
I was that kid.