Girls Kick Butt
"Hey, nice shot!" a guy behind Sora hollered as she kicked the ball toward the goal.
The goalie jumped to block the ball, but it flew in. He smile at Sora, "Dang Sora, you're one heck of a player! I'm just glad you're on out team!" He took of the green jersey.
"I bet the girl team misses ya!" another player in a green jersey said.
"Actually, I we were the ones who needed her most!" Tai bragged, hooking an arm around her neck. "Besides, she played so good, that the girls on the team were afraid of her!" he turned to smile at her, "isn't that right?"
Sora blushed, "hey, cut it out…"
"Okay, you all did well at practice." The coach said, pointing back toward the locker rooms, "Red and green, go hit the showers. Big game tomorrow!"
As they walked toward the locker rooms, the coach stopped Sora. "What is it, Coach?" Sora asked.
"Sora, we're playing against the Yokohama Bears tomorrow and they're a really tough team."
"So, the Odiabai Tigers are tougher!" Sora shouted. "Come on Coach, we can beat 'em!"
"Yes we are and we've practiced really hard." Coach agreed. "But the Tokohama Bears, well, they all have bad attitudes. They don't want to play against a girl. I talked to their coach yesterday afternoon."
"Coach, are you taking me out of the game?" Sora asked with a whisper, "but I worked so hard!" she walked away to the locker rooms.
"I don't want to keep you out of the game, Sora." Coach said, following her.
Tai overheard them talking and he whispered to the other boys, "hey, guys, listen to this."
They all huddled close and they gave each other worried faces. "Coach can't cut her out of the game!" a guy whispered to Tai.
"I hope Sora can talk herself out of it," Tai whispered back.
"Coach, I've worked too long and too hard to be cut out of a game just because some boys don't want to play against me." Sora shouted, pressing her thumb in her chest. "If they feel that way, they can go somewhere else!"
The boys cheered silently, "Go Sora!"
"You might get hurt, Sora," Coach argued, sounding like her father, "these boys are bad!"
"What about our boys?" Sora challenged, "they won't play without me!"
"They'll just have to," Coach said.
"No we won't!" Tai pushed the door open, forgetting he was just wearing his soccer shorts. "Come on Coach, is Sora won't play, then we're not playing either!"
"Yeah!" Chris Hoy added, "Without Sora, what kind of team are we?!"
"The Yokohama bears will make mince meat out of her!" Coach explained in a shout.
"You think we'll let them do that to her?" Tai said, wrapping his arm around her. "I won't let anything happen to her."
Chris Hoy did the same, "Come on coach, we'll take care of her! Besides, she's a lot tougher than we realize!"
"Please Coach," Greg Honda pleaded, "We need Sora to win the game. We've played other teams that didn't like playing against Sora in the past, why are you doing this now?"
"That was elementary soccer then, Honda!" he said, "this is High School now and those Bears are bigger and rougher and meaner!"
"So are we!" Honda remarked.
"Coach, this is really important to me and the guys." Sora said. "Just let me play. If I get uncomfortable, then I'll leave the game. I can cheer for the guys on the sidelines."
Coach smiled, pleased to hear Sora try to be the game, "you're really committed to this team, aren't you, Sora?"
"Darn right," she said. "I am part of this time, aren't I?"
Coach nodded, "Okay, Sora, you can be in the game!"
The guys cheered, "thanks coach!"
"But if anything goes wrong, Sora, remember, you can leave any time you want."
"Just call me by my last name," Sora said, "It makes me feel like one of the guys."
"Okay, hit the showers, Takenouchi…but in your own locker room!" He held his finger up and moved it side to side. "Hear me?"
"Of course! Later guys!" she headed into the girl's locker room.
Tai grinned, putting his fists on his hips. "Thanks, Coach, Sora's really important to the team."
"Kamiya, I know you and Sora are an item," Coach muttered, "So if any of those bears…"
"Hey, trust me, I'll show those bears what we tigers are about," Tai said.
Coach smiled and walked off. Tai grinned again, walked into the locker room and pulled his arm inward, "Yesss!" He patted the other guys on the back, "tomorrow, after show those bears what we're made of, let's all go for some pizza, huh?"
"Really?" Greg said, "wouldn't we get in the way with Sora and you?"
"Hey, were a team!" Tai said.
"And Sora's your girlfriend," Chris mumbled. "Oh, I see, you're out of money and you want us to help pay, right?"
"Be quiet, Hoy!" Tai shouted.
"Hey, think of it this way, it's like we're all going on a date with Sora!" Zach Lee cracked.
"Excuse me?" Tai whispered raising an eyebrow, "do you know who you're talking to?"
"Come on, Lee!" Greg said, "she's our teammate not our girlfriend. Don't make Kamiya feed you to the bears!"
"It was a joke, Kamiya!" Zach said.
Chris laughed, pulling on a clean blue shirt. "Well, guys, I better get home. We need our rest." He said.
"Wait for me, Hoy!" Greg called, putting on his clean clothes, "you're supposed to drop me home!"
"Hurry up, Honda!" Chris said, leaning against a locker and taking out his keys.
Greg hurriedly put his clean clothes on and followed Chris out. "Bye dudes!" They bumped into Sora.
"Whoa, sorry, Sora!" Greg said, "My bad!"
"It's okay, Honda, I was just waiting for Tai," Sora said with a laugh. "See ya at the game."
"You bet!" Chris and Greg left down the hall.
Tai finally came out of the locker room, wearing a blue shirt and khaki shorts. "Did I keep you waiting?" he asked as he put his arm around her.
"Just for a few hours," she smiled.
Tai looked at his watch, "Whoa!" he gasped, "I bet get you home or your mom won't let us see each other anymore!" he ran down the hall holding her hand.
It was amazing that Tai got Sora home without getting in a wreck, "I wonder how you ever made it through driver's Ed," Sora said.
Tai smiled, "hey, I drive fine, honest!" He pulled her close and kissed her goodnight, "I'll pick you up for the game, okay?"
"I'll be waiting," she said. "Later, Tai."
Sora woke up early for the game and got dressed in her uniform. She smiled at herself in the mirror to see herself in a orange and black uniform. On the back it said "Takenouchi" and her number "8". "Let's go, Tigers!" she said to herself. Her mom made her a good breakfast of pancakes. After that, she felt really energetic, so she started doing sit-ups and pushups.
Tai came for her around 4:00, the game was at 5:00 and they were supposed to be at the field by 4:30. "Let's go, Sora!" he urged, pushing on the horn, "can't be late!"
"I told you I would be waiting!" she said, getting in, "you were the one who wasn't on time, Kamiya!" she poked her finger in his chest and smiled.
Tai smiled back and gave her a quick kiss in greeting, "let's go win that game, shall we?" he pressed on the gas and went to the soccer field. They were waiting in the boy's locker room. Everyone was dressed in uniform, on a knee.
"Hey, Kamiya and Takenouchi, we've been waiting for you," Coach grumbled.
"My fault, Coach," Kamiya said, taking a knee.
"I want you to give this game all you've got." Coach urged. "These bears don't play fair and they play rough. They think girls shouldn't play soccer, instead, they think they should be taken advantage of."
"All the girls there are either cheerleaders or bookworms," Sora mumbled.
"That's right, Takenouchi, so you better watch it, okay? They're not like the other teams we've played against."
"Hey, I'm not scared!" Sora said, rising to her feet, she nudged Tai, "hey, you scared, Kamiya?"
"Heck no!" Tai grunted, standing up to take Sora's hand.
"Are you scared, Honda?"
"Not me, buddy!" Greg shouted, waving his hand back and forth.
"How about you, Hoy?" Sora asked.
"No way, girlfriend!" Chris said with a wink.
"Who's scared of the bears?" she shouted, working the boys up, "Huh? Who's scared of the big, bad bears?"
"Not us!" Zach said. "We're bigger and badder!"
"Who are we?" Sora shouted.
"Tigers!" they all stood up and put their hands together in a high five. "Tigers, Tigers, Tigers!"
"I'm proud of you guys… and girl…" Coach muttered.
"Come on, fellas, let's play some soccer!" Sora shouted.
They all ran out, yelling "Tigers, Tigers, Tigers!" They ran through the banner that some of the classmen were holding. They were wearing school colors and had tiger paws on their cheeks.
The bears were waiting for them on the field. They were really big guys, some of them were 6 ft and they looked to be about 200 pounds, maybe more. Good for Sora that they were playing soccer and not football!
"Look at that," a bear said to another teammate, "they have a girl on their team! Hey, girlie, shouldn't you be home playing with your dolls!?"
"No, I'd rather play soccer!" she shot back.
"Hey, don't her revved up!" Greg said, "Takenouchi here isn't like those wimpy sluts at Yokohama! She'll tear you in half!"
"What?" the bear said, "is she your girlfriend?"
"Actually, bud, she's mine!" Tai said, taking Sora's hand, "don't try anything stupid, or you'll answer to me!"
"You'll answer to all of us!" Zach growled.
"Oh, you think you're bad enough to play with us?"
"Heck yeah! So shut up and let's play!" Sora shouted.
The Tigers gave them all that they got. Coach wasn't kidding when he said that the bears were a tough team! Sora almost got ran over twice, but Tai protected her. The other guys made sure that Sora was okay. For the first half, they were behind. The score was 5 to 8.
"Half time, Tigers, come on, inside!" Coach yelled. They ran in and took a knee.
"Gee, Coach, those bears are pretty tough!" Sora admitted.
"You can stop anytime, Takenouchi."
"Yeah, I can take your spot," Greg offered.
"You're the goalie," Sora reminded.
"Oh, yeah…that's right!"
"We just need some more school spirit," she stood up, "hold on a second!" she ran inside the building and went up to her locker. She came back holding a makeup bag.
"Takenouchi, this is no time to paint your nails!" Coach muttered.
"No, coach, I'm not going to paint my nails!" she said. She took out two paints, one black and one orange, "I'm just going to put some school colors on our faces. That's what we need, some school spirit."
"Hey, not bad!" Greg said, "isn't she the best Coach? Sora, can you write 'Slammer' across my forehead?"
"I don't care what you do, as long as you don't let those bears intimidate you."
Sora put black and orange stripes under their eyes, like professional football players. She put tiger paws on some people's cheeks.
"Half-time's over," she said, "let's go, fellas!"
They ran out, with more school spirit and excitement. They gave the audience a surprise and did their best to work 'em up.
"Go for it, Tigers!" they yelled from the stands.
The tigers put in a great second half, which caught the bears off guard. Sora played forward and so did Tai and Zach and Chris. Tai was center forward. He faked to Sora and passed the ball to Chris. Two fullbacks, Chad Backiya and Ryo Gratchi, followed them onto the other field. Chris passed the ball to Sora as Tai kept the other team from taking the ball from her.
"Do it, Sora!" Zach shouted.
Sora grunted and kick the ball into the goal.
"Whoo-hoo!" Chris gave her a high five.
"One more quarter to go, boys!" she said.
"We got to get that girl out of the game," one of the bears said.
"Yeah, how? If we do anything stupid, we'll get disqualified!" another snapped.
"You wanna win don't you? Come on, Sato, do you wanna lose to a girl?"
"No, but I don't wanna get disqualified either. Let's just play soccer, all right?"
Now Sora played center forward. She passed the ball to Tai and he dribbled it down to the goal. Sora stayed right next to him and kept the bears from getting the ball. They just had to make one more goal, just one more, and they will win!
Too many bears tried to steal the ball away from Tai, so he passed the ball to Zach. He kicked the ball toward the goal, but the goalie grabbed it. Zach looked at the ground and scolded himself.
"It's okay, Lee, we'll get it back!" Sora said, trying to cheer him up.
The goalie for the bears threw the ball to one of his teammates. Sora went to try to steal the ball, but another person tripped her, on purpose.
"Ooops, sorry," he muttered then grinned as he made his way to the goalie.
"I don't think so!" she growled, getting to her feet. Tai helped her up. "Come on Tai, we've got a game to win!"
The two remaing fullbacks and halfbacks prevented the player from making the goal. They passed the ball to one player to another and got it to the bear's side of the field. Sora took the ball. Just a few more seconds on the clock.
"Come on Sora!" Tai said.
Zach and Tai stayed by Sora's side as she made it to the goal. She pulled her foot back, snarled and kicked the ball so hard, that it went through the net.
"10 to 9, the tiger's win folks!" the announcer shouted through the microphone.
"All right, Sora!" Tai cheered, picking her up and swinging her around. "That's my girl! You see that bears, this is my girlfriend and she kicked your butts!"
"You did it, Sora!" Zach laughed. They picked her up on their shoulders. She gave them high fives.
"Yeah, you the wo-man!" Greg shouted. "Sora! Sora! Sora!"
Sora smiled as they carried her across the field on their shoulders, calling her name. People took pictures of them as they walked down the hall to the locker rooms.
"Would you look at that?" a woman said to her husband, "a girl on a boy's soccer team?"
"Things sure are changing these days," he mumbled.
"All right, tigers, who's for some pizza?" Sora said, "my treat?"
"Ooh, Ooh," Tai said, "me, me!"
"I think we can use a celebration!" Chad said.
"Let's go, team!"
"Wait a minute," Coach said.
"What is it Coach?" Tai said. They put Sora down.
"Takenouchi, I'm very pleased at the way you played today, so," he gave her a special jersey, "you're the new team captain!"
"But Tai was the team captain?" she gasped, "I can't--"
"Hey, you deserve it!" Tai insisted.
"Come on, Sora!" Greg said, "we wouldn't have won the game if it wasn't for you!"
Sora put the new jersey on as the boys chanted her name again and again. They clapped and said "ooooh!" Like she was wearing a really pretty prom dress.
"Okay Tigers," Sora said, "let's celebrate!"