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Another Soccer Gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by HeinekenMan, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I'm mainly posting this to get feedback on how I handled the lede and developed it, etc.

    Mount Dora freshman delivers the winning goal

    Ron White
    Special to the Sentinel

    January 26, 2007

    PALM COAST -- Last February, Amanda Youmans took a shot in the gut when one of the family's horses kicked her. She lost part of her pancreas during emergency surgery following the incident.

    On Thursday, Youmans, a freshman midfielder for Mount Dora, delivered her own painful kick to lift her team to a 2-1 victory against Matanzas High School in the Region 2 quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament.

    "I'm not sure what happened," said Youmans moments after blasting a 15-yard shot from the right side in the early minutes of a sudden-death overtime.

    It happened while many of Mount Dora's players were backpedaling to play defense. First, Matanzas goalkeeper Marlee Mliniak collected a ball and booted it to midfield where a Mount Dora player headed the ball to freshman Gillian Eure, who passed to Youmans. The freshman shot past a defender delivering a high-arching shot into the net.

    The defense held Matanzas (15-6-2) -- which took 11 shots -- scoreless in the first half. Then Mount Dora broke a scoreless tie with 25:26 to play in regulation on a header by freshman midfielder Peggy Robles. .

    Matanzas, though, tied it when Jessica Asprey caught up to a loose ball that bounced off Mount Dora goalkeeper Sydney Kozlowski, who stopped a shot by Marlee MacCloskey but wasn't able to reposition herself to stop Asprey from scoring on the rebound.

    Mount Dora (12-9-6) now travels to defending state champion Lake Highland Prep on Tuesday.
  2. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    Great lead, but I'd move the first two words to later in the sentence. It's always jarring to read a story about the present that starts "Last whatever." Same thing with the second graf - I'd move the Thursday reference to after state tournament.

    The lead has a great story about the girl, but you didn't go into it the rest of the story. How many goals did she score this season sans pancreas? Was she someone the team expected to score on a blast like that? Emergency pancreas removal is some serious abdominal surgery - did they expect her to be at full form at all this season?

    A gamer may not be the best place to answer that, but since it's in the lead, I kind of wish you'd come back to it at the end of the story.

    Finally, I'm not sure you need to go into that much detail about how each goal came about unless you're looking to eat up inches. The sentence about Asprey's goal could be tightened and probably clarified.

    The lead definitely caught my attention and drew me in, though, so kudos on that. Not the type of lead you'd expect with a soccer playoff story.
  3. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Hey, thanks for reading. Those are some great suggestions. I've always wondered how much info you need on a goal that wasn't the deciding event of the game. There are so few scored in the sport that I try to give each its due justice. But you're probably correct. It doesn't much matter to the reader how it was scored, unless it was a bicycle kick or an immaculate shot from the heavens, etc. I'm probably guilty of eating up inches, but that's normally because I don't take the time to tighten. It's something I want to work on, but I tend to neglect it on tight deadlines and just shoot for fulfilling the inch count.

    I really wanted to add more on the girl's situation, but the truth is that I only caught the story as I was leaving the field. It was relayed by her mother, and I made the mistake of not asking enough questions to get the full story.

    Again, thanks for the read. I know it's not the most exciting story ever, but I thought I'd toss it out there.
  4. m2spts

    m2spts Member

    The lead? Not bad, but not great. A little too graphic (gut).
    You needed to follow up with the mother, perhaps with a longer second-day story, and just touched upon the accident in the game story.
    The problem with covering high school things is that coaches don't know a good story, and this could have been a pretty good "getting to know her" type of story earlier in the season. When you pursue those mundane preseason previews, ask about the personalities on the teams, their quirks, etc. You'd be surprised what you might find out.
    Oh, the game account was nicely done.
  5. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Thanks. I appreciate you reading.
  6. m2spts

    m2spts Member

    If you want to write soccer, read the British papers, particularly the London Times.
    Check them all out actually. However, make your writing English (not British) and let's not have any three-nil scores (it's 3-0).
    I know that when I started covering soccer in the 1970s, I latched on to several British journalists, looked at what they wrote and how they wrote it, and then subscribed to a publication called World Soccer. With the advent of the Internet, it's become a lot easier.
    Brian Glanville of the London Times is one of the best.
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