Sports

The Loss That Felt Like A Win

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Christine SinclairOne sports writer called it, “a loss that felt like a win,” and indeed it was.

The Canadian women’s soccer team lost its first game 2-1 to Germany in the Women’s World Cup in Berlin on Sunday. But during that game, one player in particular showed what she was made of–courage, skill and drive.

Going into the match, Germany was heavily favoured to win. They had already won the World Cup twice before. In 2007 they won the Cup without giving up a single goal. In fact, they haven’t given up a single goal in competition since October.

But something happened around half-time. It was 2-0 for Germany. Canada was playing aggressively, controlling the ball in Germany’s end. Then Christine Sinclair, the Canadian captain, got hit in the face by the elbow of one of Germany’s players. It was a solid hit and it broke her nose. Canadian medical staff came onto the field to tend to the injured player.

Sinclair looked at the doctor and, although her nose had just been pronounced broken, she told the doctor she wanted to keep playing.

Sinclair lined up for a free kick and kicked the ball around the German “wall” of players, past the goal keeper and into the net. Canada had scored on the best women’s team in the world, the first goal against the team in more than eight months–and it had been accomplished by a player with a newly broken nose.

Truly a loss that felt like a victory, thanks to one player’s guts and determination.

This article includes information from this column by Stephen Brunt in the Globe and Mail.Christine Sinclair, captiain of Canadian women's soccer team; image: Jae C. Jong/Associated Press

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Writing/Discussion Prompt

Reading Prompt
The Canadian women’s soccer team was not expected to compete with Germany’s team. To the surprise of many, these athletes challenged the German squad a lot. Have you ever been an “underdog?” How did you feel when people didn’t expect you to win? Did it motivate or discourage you?

Reading Prompt
Journalists who write about sports often use words in specific and creative ways. Today’s article does too. What do you think the author means by the terms “free kick” and “wall?”

Sinclair lined up for a free kick and kicked the ball around the German “wall” of players, past the goal keeper and into the net.

Primary, Junior, & Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including: semantic (meaning) cues (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, base words, phrases, sentences, and visuals that activate existing knowledge of oral and written language) (OME, Reading: 3.2).

Grammar Feature: But
Many people will tell you to never start a sentence with the word “But.” The reason is that the word “but” usually comes after one piece of information and leads to another. For example, “I want to go play frisbee outside but it’s raining too much.”

But today’s article includes two sentences that start with the word “but” (three including this one)!

“But during that game, one player in particular showed what she was made of–courage, skill and drive.”

“But something happened around half-time.”

Why do you think the author felt that they could use the word “but” at the beginning of these sentences? How does it feel reading word “but” at the beginning of these sentences?