Monday, August 15, 2011

Legend On The Pitch

To the average sports fan, the name Sisleide Lima Do Amor might not ring a bell. To the ardent soccer fan, the name Sissi will. In reality, the two names belong to the same person; the former given to her a little more than 44 years ago when she was born, the latter when she stepped onto the soccer pitch and starred for the Brazilian national women's team in the 1990's.

Sunday afternoon, she gave Aggie players the chance to say they went up against a player her former national team coach once commented, "For Brazil, Sissi is the best in the world. For us, Sissi is the queen of soccer."

That coach, Wilson Oliveira, said that in a N.Y. Times Service article after Sissi's free kick gave Brazil a dramatic win over Nigeria in the 1999 World Cup being played in the United States. Her seven goals - highlighted by a hat trick against Mexico - were tied for most in the tournament, giving her a share of the "golden boot" award.

An assistant coach for the United States, in the same article, said "She can win a game with one shot." She didn't score for the California Storm during the Aggies' 1-0 exhibition win at home on Sunday, but she gave it her best shot at tying the game on the final play, launching a long shot that was hauled in by Aggie goalie Kathleen Brandl.

It may not have looked dangerous when it left her foot but it wasn't exactly a gimme either. Sissi, now a community college coach in California who also also played in the 1995 World Cup and two Olympics, doesn't move as fast as she once did but she still had control of the ball during the game.

It'd be like playing adult league baseball and seeing a retired Nolan Ryan on the hill. He wouldn't be the fireballer that tossed seven no-hitters but I sure wouldn't want to test his fastball. Just like I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of Sissi's shot. Either one is still pretty lethal.

- Mike Robles, Assistant Athletics Director

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