But as the second half of the boys' game gets under way, the Panthers score goal after unanswered goal. "They're coming back!" hollers Dazen Franklin from the sidelines, where he's clutching the lacrosse stick he uses in the club team he recently joined. On the other field, the Coyotes are coming back, too: They trade hard-fought goals with the City Lax girls until, with less than a minute left, they're one point behind.
This is when the Franklin twins turn on the juice. On alternate fields, Joanne and Jaden make leaping catches at midfield and head off for their respective goals. They're vrooming, blowing past one opponent after another until it's just them, the goalie and the net.
Rod Allison had the dream, Erik Myhren had the team.
The end is never really in doubt. It's like their game cheer: "1, 2, 3, City Lax – you know!" Both Joanne and Jaden know they're going to score, just like they know, deep down, that both their teams will win today (the boys 10 to 7, the girls 13 to 11). Just like the twins know they're going to roll into the Jamboree in early June and play with every ounce of hunger in their guts. Just like they know that next spring they'll be returning to this hardscrabble patch of green to help their former coaches hone the hunger of their successors, and give other kids a chance to shine.