High School is out for the summer. That means students are spending their days being lazy by the pool or sleeping in due to reckless nights. This summertime routine looks a little different for one newly graduated senior though. HAYLEY is running on the High School track and lifting in the weight room, as she prepares herself for what awaits at the end of the summer. During the past few years Hayley has worked extremely hard at reaching her potential at soccer. This work paid off for her, as she signed a DI soccer scholarship with the University of Georgia. So, as she sprints across the tar track that is baking in the sun, she reminds herself of the competition that lays ahead at UGA, and she moves faster. Sweat covering her body, she suddenly hears a whistle and stops from exhaustion. A tall, friendly looking face comes to her side and tells her 5:54 with a smile. She somewhat catches her breath and mumbles, “Yes, I made it!” The friendly face then offers Hayley some water as they walk off the track. NATE, the friendly face, jumps into the silver Jeep Wrangler and motions for Hayley to get in. She has to take a second to steady her shaking legs, but then hops right into the passenger’s seat. Nate kisses her cheek and he drives her home. As the wind blows through her hair, Hayley gazes at Nate as he attempts to sing-a-long to some country song. He only knows a few words, but is making up the rest. She loves when he does that. Hayley is then suddenly reminded that he will not be at UGA with her this coming fall, because he didn’t get in, so she tries to cherish the moment. She thinks about how they are going to stay together, as they have throughout most of high school, but she questions whether it will work out. She stops herself from thinking about it anymore and turns up the radio, singing the correct words louder than Nate. The day has come for Hayley to pack her things up and head to Athens, Georgia, home of the Bulldogs. Packing is an event in itself, as she asks last minute questions about whether to bring, or not bring certain things. Eventually she gets in the car and is ready to go on this beautiful summer morning. Tears roll down her face as she drives out of the driveway, looking back at her family and Nate, all the people that she loves, all the people who mean the world to her. She gets scared and thinks about turning back, but then realizes what she has in front of her and presses the pedal of her tan Honda Civic harder. It is time for soccer preseason to start and Hayley could not be more excitedly nervous to show off what she has been
working on all summer. She has already met most of the team, but has not met the other freshmen players. She first meets LEXI. Lexi gives off an odd first impression, as she has different colored hair and carries herself as if she wishes to hide away from the rest of the world. Hayley still walks up to her and energetically introduces herself as Lexi almost stumbles backwards from her lack of social skills. Hayley steadies her, as they talk and learn that they are going to be roommates in the dorms. Hayley thinks to herself that this is going to an interesting year. Hayley then continues on to meet the 3 other freshmen, DANIELLE, ANNE, and CAITLIN. They all seem nice, but more importantly, more normal and social than Lexi. After getting settled into their respective dorms, the five freshmen join together to face their first rigorous preseason, naively. They had the preseason set on a glorious podium… but in reality, it was hell-like. Through their sweat and tears, they run, lift, kick, slide, and basically die day in and out, but through it all they become extremely closely bonded to each other and the rest of the team. Preseason was coming to an end, as the summer heat starts to somewhat simmer, and the campus begins to be occupied by other students. Other students include male students, and Hayley is constantly reminded of her boyfriend, Nate. The other freshmen are all single and ready to mingle, now that they have some time on their hands, so they quickly become friends with the men’s soccer team. One boy on the team takes particular notice of Hayley; he is a sophomore from Indiana, SPENCER. He is blonde, funny and quick-witted and Hayley is entertained by him, but she brushes it off. She is consumed with college classes, living in a new environment, and of course, soccer. But Spencer sees no problem with pursuing her. He texts and calls her daily as she replies friendly, with things hinting to her having a boyfriend. Spencer still insists that he shows her around downtown, so she eventually gives in. They meet outside of Hayley’s dorm one warm Saturday afternoon and stroll over to downtown, where Spencer gives Hayley the inside scoop on every bar and restaurant, trying to show her his maturity and knowledge of the town. He points to certain bars telling her which type of people go there, and which ones are hard to get into with a fake ID. She laughs and begins to be charmed by his charismatic personality. They then grab some burgers at a walk-up vendor and continue talking. Hayley can’t help but notice that Spencer has disgusting
manners and is eating like a dog. He then walks her back to her dorm and they hug goodbye. As she is walking up the front steps of the dorm with a smile on her face, Spencer looks at her like an angel has touched him. Back in the dorm room, Lexi interrogates her about the “date”. Then Anne walks in and confesses that she has a crush, who happens to be Spencer. Emotions are stirred, but Anne tries to play it cool and leaves to do homework. Hayley feels terrible for hurting her and possibly leading him on and not telling Nate, so she realizes she needs to figure it all out. It’s time for soccer practice. Practice continues to more competitive, as the Coach now said that starters will be determined on game day. Hayley wants a spot more than anything and works even harder in workouts to fight for it. Days later, Hayley is still extremely focused on getting the starting position, but cannot forget about the fight with Anne the other day. She decides she needs to talk to Nate about the whole situation first. She calls him and he is angry at first, not understanding why just the two of them had to go to lunch, but then calms himself realizing their strong relationship. He tells her to define to Spencer what their relationship entails and then suggest Anne to him! Hayley is overjoyed with this conversation and tells Nate she loves him before hanging up. Still holding the phone in her hand, she then dials Spencer’s number. He answers, after about 4 rings, and happily says hello. Hayley then hits him with the friendship bomb and he plays it off as if he was intending for the same thing. So, it made it easier for Hayley then to propose the idea of being a matchmaker for him and Anne. Spencer immediately says that she is super hot, hoping to make Hayley jealous, and that he would love to have her number. Hayley’s face is illuminated as she feels she has just solved world hunger! The next day Anne comes up to Hayley at practice and asks if its ok if she goes out to dinner with Spencer. Hayley tried best as she could to hide her excitement, but she ended up jumping up and down with Anne in celebration. With that all settled, it was now time to refocus on soccer. She wanted that spot. The first game day finally arrives and Hayley is more nervous than ever to see if she gets the starting spot. As she walks over to the stadium with her freshmen teammates,
she takes a deep breath in preparation for the competition ahead of her. Upon entering the locker room, Hayley sees a jersey in her locker and realizes she has been given a starting position. She wants to scream with excitement, but holds it inside by clenching her fists and bouncing her legs. The older girls on the team look at her and remember the same feeling of the first game. Hayley laces up her shoes and listens to the Coach speak. Now, itâ€™s the time she has been working for, for so long, game time. She finally runs out under the stadium lights and the crowd cheers! She looks around as the band starts to play the Georgia fight song and sees her family and Nate in the stands. Nate blows her a kiss in assurance. She is ready to win.