I was a member of a state championship soccer team in high school. WAIT- before you read the next paragraph click here.
It was quite the underdog story as about half of the girls who were starters in the game (including me) had all started playing soccer together freshman year and the team that we beat to win state had given us one of only two or three losses so far that season. When we played them the first time, they beat us something like 7-0 and came in to the championship game quite cocky. We ended up beating them in penalty kicks after overtime periods. It was magical.
When I got to college, I got fat. Then I slimmed down my Sophomore year and decided I would pick up soccer again. I went out to a club team practice and immediately got frustrated with how it was run and the other girls there. I also realized that I loved the comradery my high school team as much as I loved the sport and officially hung up my cleats- or so I thought.
One weekend during my junior year, my roommate asked me to come play a co-ed game on her team made up of mostly engineers (nerds!!! but wicked clever when it came to ways to imbibe). I hesitantly went with her and was relieved when the other team didn't show thinking I had gotten out of it. However, everyone out there was still ready to play, so we had a pick up match among their team.
I was nervous to play with guys, but was enjoying the game. For some reason, I was playing forward and was trying to be cool and show off my "amazing" skills. I got my opportunity when someone crossed a pass in the air directly in front of the goal. I jumped up to get my head on the ball and the instant I did, the defender got his head on my face. As I watched my first and last goal from a header sail into the net, I also heard a loud pop and immediately felt blood (I also think the goalie was too stunned by the scene to block the ball, it was luck). I got the ball, the defender got my face and the better part of my nose. I had a broken nose from a pickup scrimmage that I didn't care about.
I immediately grabbed my face and my friend and I ran into the Rec center to ask for towels. I dripped blood up the steps and it took a few attempts to explain to them what we needed- everyone was staring open mouthed at my blood stained penny.
I went to the hospital and they confirmed my suspicion of a broken nose. But apparently it was not bad enough to need any corrective work. It would get to stay the way it was without the Owen Wilson charm factor. Awesome.
The nose incident marked the true end of my soccer career. It also provided plenty of awkward nose bleeds which I would try to follow up with an inappropriate joke about illegal drugs that usually didn't go over too well. Oh yeah- and the guy who broke my nose? Apologized to me every time he saw me for the rest of college. It was unnecessary- I knew it was a mistake. I will admit, though, the line "Hey, remember that time you broke my nose?" did milk his guilt enough to get me a drink or two when I would see him out.