Monday, December 27, 2010
This has been a pretty weird year. Normally weekends in November and December are reserved strictly for football. However, with Abilene High and Cooper making earlier than anticipated exits and the ACU football team (which was ranked #2 in the country) losing their lone playoff game, I was running out of teams to cover very fast.
Two weeks earlier the Hardin-Simmons University womens soccer team qualified for their first trip to the NCAA Division III Final Four. They were ranked #2 in the country in D3 and were playing only 4.5 hours down the road in San Antonio. So, unlike a lot of the teams that were coming from the northeast, this was practically a home game for them.
The semifinal game, was far from being my best. There wasn't a whole lot of action and ended in a 0-0 tie with HSU winning in a shootout. Part of the problem was the light kind of sucked, the other part was I was probably relying a little too heavily on waiting for a reaction shot either from a goal or from the loss. Then by the second half I was frustrated and while I got a few decent shots, it just wasn't what I wanted. Luckily they won the game and I'd have a chance to redeem myself in the game that mattered.
The next day I went in ready for the bad light and knowing I needed something better. The first few minutes I shot from the field, but planned as the light was going away quick I'd get up high and shoot before it got dark. The night before I was needing to jack up my ISO pretty high, and shooting from the stands I wanted to shoot really long so I had to have some daylight to keep stopping action. By the time the sun had gone down I was happier with the shots I had from 10-15 minutes of shooting up high than I was with anything I'd gotten the night before. So, instead of going back down to the field and shooting without the teleconverter, I figured I'd just slow down my shutter and try some pan stuff for the rest of the half.
It didn't hurt that, not only would I have the whole second half to shoot from the field, but I also knew the main shot we were going to run would be a reaction from the win/loss of the game. Well, luckily it worked out well going up high because in the second half HSU backed up and just protected their 2-0 lead, only giving up one goal which in the end didn't matter, but added to the drama. As the clock expired it was time to find the front page shot. One of the reasons I love shooting championship games is there is never a shortage of emotions. And with them winning the school's first team national championship in school history, they were certainly making the big deal out of it that it deserved. Ironically, the shot we ran isn't here. Although, I wasn't in love with the trophy shot, it was the iconic one that I still think was the best choice. But I like the group celebration shot better from right after the clock expired and the shot of them "guns up" better.