Topical Essay: O’Brien
My Heroic Story

Not Just a Game



How One Game Changed My Life


“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

-Japanese Proverb

By: Will O’Brien




 It was a scorching, moist day in Long Island. June 12th, 2018, my team and I were up by a goal in the championship game, even though we had been outplayed most of the game. The clock for the fourth quarter had just started, and I was matched up with my man on our own GLE. We were beating one of the best clubs in the nation, this is the game that every lacrosse player lives for. I gave our goalie a fist bump, and started to mentally prepare for another quarter in the ninety degree heat. The face off was set, and the other team won it. A fast break was coming, I knew it was my slide, so I went. I hit the kid who had the ball, but he got the pass off, the other attack man threw it down to the open guy, and they scored. It was going to be more of a ballgame than I had thought.

    I could instantly tell that the energy shifted in our defense as soon as that happened. We went to huddle up on the crease to talk it through, “Stay loose Marcos, you’re good kid”, my coach shouted. We talked through what happened, and realized that it wasn’t really our fault, and that fast breaks happen. The next face off happened, and we won it and got possession of the ball, we went down the field and started setting up our offense. The ball swung from Milki, to Crosby, to TJ, and finally my teammate Burnsy got the ball and set up a dodge, he dodged to the net and missed, the opposing team won the chase. I mentally prepared to get ready to play more defense, they cleared the ball and I locked off my man. A midi came down the field, and passed to an attack man, who my friend and fellow defender, Hays, was guarding. Hays got beat off the dodge, and they scored another goal. Now we were all feeling slightly discouraged. We needed a momentum shift, like right away. 

    Our coach decided to call a timeout, I can speak for myself when I say I was dreading what he was going to say in the huddle. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be though, he asked for a time check, and let us know that there was roughly three minutes left in the game. I wasn’t super nervous, but I definitely had some butterflies in my stomach. I knew somebody would need to step up and make a play if we wanted to win this game. We broke the huddle, and I went back on the field and lined up with my man. The ref walked into the center circle and put the ball down for the face off, our fogo Timmy won it straight forward, then went up the field and scored! The game was now tied with roughly two minutes left! I could feel the excitement creeping into my bones, as the next face off was about to start. 

    After winning the face off, the opponent came down the field and threw the ball to my man. I instantly knew we needed the ball if we wanted to win, I threw a poke on my man, and noticed he brought his stick back far, perfect chance for an over the head check. I faked a poke and threw my forearms and hands over his head, I brought my stick down quickly on his stick, and the ball came out of his stick. Seeing my chance, I picked up my knees and started running to get the ball. I picked up the ball, and started springing toward the other net. I threw the ball to Tyler and he ripped a shot top right just as the buzzer sounded! Game over!!! 

    I went to embrace Tyler,  while the whole team sprinted off the bench to do the same, I actually ended up tackling him, and the whole team got on top of us as a huge pig pile formed. I knew I would never forget this moment, as this was the moment that lacrosse changed from just a sport that I play, to a passion of mine. 




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Brendan McCullen

Great work Will! I liked how you have the date for this game and you went into great detail about everything that happened. That game sounded very intense and a great game. Good work


Nice Job William! I liked how you used very descriptive adjectives that really made me feel like I was right there. This seems like a really fun and exciting day, and overall really nice essay, will.

JP Ward

Great job Will. You captured and described those nervous moments towards the end of sports games perfectly. You made it come to life with all the descriptive words you used and it ended up having a big effect on the quality of your story in the end.


Great essay Will. The story telling about this game was perfect between the emotion and actions of the game I could see what it was like for you to relive this moment. I like how you described how you were feeling with descriptive adjectives.


Great essay Will. The story telling about this game was perfect between the emotion and actions of the game I could see what it was like for you to relive this moment. I like how you described how you were feeling with descriptive adjectives.

Lyle Waldeck

Good job Will! You were very descriptive which made the story much easier to picture and captured the intensity of the game.

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