Before we even get to the cruise ship, there were other tales of “overcoming obstacles” for Springs/VG.
Dates leading up the Region Cup competition were severely disrupted by games that conflicted with high school entrance tests.
“We had to play a part of one game with just 10 players on the field before others arrived after their test,” said team manager Jorge Santin, father of Karina.
Then came the Region Cup semifinal contest against Plantation.
All six girls who got accepted at different schools now had to take a placement test at two different schools, Lourdes and La Salle,” said Santin, whose daughter was one of the three La Salle girls. “The three from Lourdes couldn’t make it at all, but we had a shot at getting my daughter and the other two girls from the La Salle exam there for the second half.”
Arrive they did and, trailing Plantation 1-0 at halftime, rallied for two goals in the second half to win it 2-1 and advance to the title game against Cutler Ridge. Who scored the two goals? Karina Santin.
All done with conflicts? Not a chance.
Blessed Trinity’s Annual 8th Grade Cruise Ship Fashion Show was the next day, a commitment Karina Santin, Bermudez and Diaz simply could not get out of.
“We had a pretty good shot at getting them to the park for the second half as long as everything ran on time with the port authority,” said Jorge Santin. “Of course, what happens, the Port Authority are the ones in charge and the thing runs an hour late and we’re thinking, ‘This just isn’t meant to be.’ ”
But, for a change, the Springs/VG girls caught a break. Thanks to some delays from previous games and weather issues, the title game got pushed back.
“It was wild, like a scene right out of ‘Mission Impossible,’ ” said Santin. “Here we are literally running through the terminal, girls in high heels with a car waiting for us at the entrance to zip us off to the park. Somehow we managed to get there after the second half had started and got them out on the field, still wearing their makeup.”
Of course, then Santin watches his daughter go down with the shoulder injury and it’s back to staring at the sky and cursing the soccer gods again.
Days later, the gods went back to smiling again when news came that Karina’s injury, feared to be a separated shoulder, was only a deep contusion and she will be ready to go against Cape Coral on Saturday.
But perhaps the best news for Mats and everyone close to the team is, believe it or not, there will be no cruises or entrance exams this Saturday. Everyone is headed to Auburndale and the Springs/VG team will be at full strength.
“We’re excited and looking forward to the challenge,” said Mats. “These other three teams are very good, but with what these girls have overcome, anything is possible at this point.”