Aside from technology and reflexes, there's the whole issue of being at the right place for the best view. When you shoot from sidelines of the field instead of a raised press box, you have to scurry to get a clear view through closer players, referees, and sometimes spectators. Here's a shot that was a little late (about .05 second after contact - no I'm not exaggerating). I like it because it shows the leap, the player's face shows concentration, and the opposition player is watching.
Got the timing here, but everyone was facing the other way. I haven't worked out how to teleport to the other side of the field!
A glancing header.
Ah, caught the moment here.
I had this one anticipated, but the opposition player was taller and intercepted with her head.
This could have been a successful shot if the ball had come down more on my side of the player.
Here's what I like to catch! A clear view, and timed well enough to show the compression of the ball.
Here's a closer look at the same shot. I think that's pretty much maximum compression of the soccer ball.
And one more. My only disappointment with this shot is the cluttered background, but of course I can't control that. I was shooting with the widest available aperture for this long focal length, to blur the background as much as I could.
Cropped, it doesn't look bad. Some compression too.