Irene loves soccer, and, back in Missouri, she was one of the top players on her school’s girls’ team. But things are different in Merano, Italy. Irene loves the feel of the ball exploding off her foot for a shot at the goal, but in the small, very traditional Alpine town in Italy where Irene and her family have come for a yearlong stay, there is no soccer team for girls. When Irene decides to join the highly competitive boys’ team, she has little idea what she’s getting herself into. She must prove herself to the strict coach, and her teammates make it clear they don’t want her on the field. Especially Matteo, the team’s star player, who goes out of his way to make Irene unwelcome. But Irene does not give up easily. With an often humorous look at a collision of cultures, Kristin Wolden Nitz has created a complex adolescent character whom readers will root for as she struggles to find her place in a new country and on the field.