Until this week, no one in the media knew who Elizabeth Lambert was. Women's college soccer rarely makes the front page of the sports section in the United States. However, through a series of brutal fouls committed by Lambert in a televised match, she is now extraordinarily famous. Elizabeth Lambert is now a household name. Her conduct gives the term "sore loser" a whole new meaning. She was suspended for her conduct, which you can view below.
I grew up playing soccer and now coach my ten year old daughter's soccer team. Good sportsmanship is a HUGE priority for me. I try to lead by example and make my expectations of positive conduct known at the beginning of each season. And, my girls are great. I mean, really great. My parents are great, too.
A few weeks ago we played a team that did not demonstrate good sportsmanship. Playing this team was like playing a bunch of biker chicks with serious criminal records. They consistently fouled my girls and even drew blood from two of them. That day, we had a parent referee, so most of the dirty offenses went uncalled and unpunished. And, don't get me started on the cheating. Or the other coach's do-whatever-it-takes-to-win attitude. She was like the evil sensei from Karate Kid.
The worst part was, they won the game.
After all of it, the blood, the elbows, the high kicks, the uncalled offsides, my girls marched right up to them and shook their hands. They were frustrated and felt bullied, but they shook their hands. I was tempted to stay on the sidelines, hands firmly in my pockets. But, I too shook their hands and managed to get the words, "good game," out of my clenched teeth.
I was feeling pretty ticked off about the game. Apparently, I kept talking about it all night. As Mike and I were walking into a party later that evening, he said,
"Babe, promise me you are not going to tell every single person at the party about the game."
"OK, sorry. I promise."
I only told 3 people. OK, maybe 4 but, it helped me feel better.
The video below makes me wish our game had been televised.
It goes without saying that this behavior is inexcusable.
I have a few questions, though.
Why was she permitted to stay in the game? It appears she received one yellow card for kicking another player in the head. The other offenses went unpunished. Why did the referees allow her to keep playing? More importantly, WHY DID HER COACHES keep her in the game? Lambert is culpable here, but so are her coaches for allowing her to finish the game. If one of my players demonstrated behavior like that, they would be off the field immediately....
OK, rant over. I'll post something happier tomorrow. :)