Soccer scuffles not worth the penalty

By Arielle Friscia
November 12, 2009

Shannon Keough

Girls and violence-it seems a bit unclassy doesn’t it? That’s what I thought when I first saw the video of the University of New Mexico’s women’s soccer player Elizabeth Lambert video on ESPN and her unsportsmanlike conduct towards a Brigham Young University player.

Throughout the video you see Lambert blatantly committing fouls such as punching, kicking and pulling a player down by her ponytail. Damn, this girl knows how to fight.

Now, you would think that the referees would have some kind of vision and maybe they didn’t have 20/20 vision, but honestly you got to be blind to not want to throw Lambert out of the game after her first offense. It’s unbelievable that girls can have it out for each other on the soccer field.

Like Lambert I am guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct during a soccer game and I have to say it’s not one of the proudest moments in my life, but it was a lesson learned.

At the age of 16, being the soccer “superstar” I was, the emotions were running high during a game that I was playing with my travel team.

I was playing as a fullback, which wasn’t my usual position, but when you only had 11 players showing up you had to play everywhere.

I remember we were playing our rival team and I was defending against this one girl. She was getting frustrated because, well, I was defending her, she wasn’t going to get around me. Okay that was a bit conceited, but that’s how I was back then on the soccer field.

We exchanged a few words, which won’t be repeated in this article and she grabbed me and threw me on the ground. It was at that point that I decided to make one of the biggest mistakes of my soccer career by holding her down and giving her a nice right hook in the eye.

The emotions were running high and all I wanted to do was shut her up. My teammates couldn’t believe what I did and a good hour later I was in complete shock with what I did. I had to pay the consequences of course, and I received a red card and was suspended from the league for two games.

For awhile, I thought I had every right to punch this girl in the face, but I look back on it now and I wish it never happened. I wish I was able to keep myself under control and not let my anger get to me; instead I let it get the best of me.

For the years that I played soccer with my team, called the Holmdel Nitemares, I was known as the person who got into a fight, the person who lost control.

If I could go back in time I would change the entire thing because being suspended from the beautiful game that I loved was not worth it.

The worst part about it all was that I had my mother watch me from the sidelines punching this girl in the face, and let me tell you, that lecture was not a good one to have.

I not only screwed up my season that year, but I screwed over my teammates who were counting on me to be on the field to contribute during the season.

My fight did not make it on ESPN or anything, but for Elizabeth Lambert she will always be reminded of her actions and unsportsmanlike conduct. Now, she might not care, but I would if that was me.

For any player who enjoys playing the alluring game of soccer or any sport for that matter, be known as the player who has talent, not the one who gets thrown out of games because of poor decisions.

Remember to “Joga Bonito,” which means “play beautiful” because that is what the game of soccer should be.

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Arielle Friscia

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