He is fouled in the box with less than one minute remaining and the City Islanders down 2 to 3. The crowd of five or six hundred fans (my unofficial estimate) rises to their feet. FNB Stadium and all of City Island falls silent as he places the ball on the mark and lines up for the kick 12-yards out from the goal.
He hesitates, approaches, and unleashes a powerful blast. The ball rockets toward the goalie, over the goal, above eight rows of fans behind the goal, across a section of sidewalk, and finally put to a stop by a large sign hanging over the Socceritaville Bar.
Not even close.
The game winds down in less than a minute. City Islanders lose.
He stands alone then squats down near midfield, facing an empty section of the stadium near the Harrisburg Senator dugout. The opposing goalie gloats with his teammates, mocks a few Harrisburg players and fans, and runs out to mid field. He pats the lone Islander on the back, rubs his shoulder and reaches down to shake hands.
He's still squatting with a painful countenance. Maybe he will collapse and cry. Maybe he will dislocate the gloating goalie's right arm and beat him over the head with it.
He reaches out, shakes the goalies hand.
Fifteen minutes later, a group of young fans collects autographs at the edge of the field. I see the painful look slowly approach the exit. He stops, says "Hello...yes...thank you," while signing a dozen signatures. The painful look returns as he faces the locker room. He begins walking away from the crowd.
My friends son runs him down from behind, holding up a water bottle to be signed. I want to step in.
"Trav, not him! Let him go."
But I was too late
He who missed the penalty kick is a bit startled, pauses to see what is tapping at his elbow. I'm waiting for the snap.
But instead, another save.
"Yes. Of course. You're welcome."
I know nearly nothing about Craig Foster, what kind of son and teammate and player he is, or where his career has been or is headed. I don't know what the May 9th game meant to him or to the City Islanders. But I'm sure that he will be well, wherever life takes him.
And that's what I hope to remember about the game tonight.
But you, be sober-minded in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your work. 2 Timothy 4:5