Tuesday, November 7
Paul plays again in the soccer team, on the left wing, and scores a goal. But the game is abandoned because of a thunderstorm. Even though the War Eagles were leading 2-0, the game will not count.
Wednesday, November 8
In the Tangerine Times there is a long article about Middle School soccer. Maya and Victor are among the top three goal scorers in the county; the other one is Gino, from Lake Windsor. Tangerine Middle and Lake Windsor are the only undefeated teams and the championship will be decided when those two teams meet at Lake Windsor on Friday.
This sets the stage for the showdown between the War Eagles and Lake Windsor.
Friday, November 10
Tangerine Middle soccer teams travels to Lake Windsor. The War Eagles must win or draw with Lake Windsor to win the championship. There is rivalry between the two teams because the previous year, Lake Windsor were the champions, winning the final game away to Tangerine Middle.
Paul is a substitute at the beginning of the game, which starts out rough. A Lake Windsor player commits a bad foul against Victor and is ejected from the game. Victor has to go off for treatment. Paul enters the game as a substitute. He takes a long free kick, and from the resulting move Maya scores. It does not take long for Lake Windsor to level the scores, though. Then Shandra in goal is taken ill, and Paul takes over as goalie. He makes a bad mistake, which allows Gino to put Lake Windsor in front. After that, though, he plays well. In the second half, Victor returns, and soon the War Eagles have leveled the score at 2-2. Then in the final moments of the game, Lake Windsor are awarded a penalty kick. Gino takes it. Paul, thinking he knows where Gino will place the ball, dives to the right, but to his anguish, Gino sends the ball the other way. But Paul is relieved when he sees that the shot has missed the goal. The game ends as a draw and the War Eagles are the champions.
This is the climax of the soccer season, and is the third soccer match described in detail in the book. The author avoids making it too much like a fantasy in which Paul does something brilliant. Instead, it is more realistic. Paul makes one serious mistake but then makes up for it. But he does not actually save the final penalty kick; the War Eagles win not because of Paul’s save but because of Gino’s miss.