On a cool, fall Tuesday in mid-November, a large turf soccer field tucked in the corner of a small Boston suburb witnessed a clash of epic proportions. Granted, the hype leading up to the annual Senior vs. Faculty soccer game was a bit more eventful than the actual match, but the intensity and skill on display still made for a memorable day. The seniors fielded a team of a few resident JV B players, some 3B retirees, and most notably one former varsity player in James Collins, while the Faculty ran out establishes superstars such as Señor Steffey, Mr. Holland, and Doc “Shakespeare” Fast.
Some vicious possession battles dominated the game’s early minutes, with Mr. Feldman and Ethan McIlhenny fighting for control of the sideline, while Griffin Gustafsson stopped quite a few through balls intended for either the lighting-quick Mr. DiResta or the Irish sniper Mr. Hegarty. After a nasty collision at midfield between Matty Glynn and Mr. Harder, it seemed as though none of the Faculty’s quick passing or the Seniors’ physicality would manifest itself on the scoreboard. However, a whiffed clear at the back end of the Senior defense resulted in a 3-on-zero chance for the Faculty, with Mr. George netting the first goal for his squad. Not even three minutes later, Brian Melley responded with an incredible redirection goal of his own– into the wrong net. Soon after that, Mr. Hegarty paid off the apparently unbiased player-referee Doc Fast with some gold from the end of the rainbow and scored a quick-strike goal into the top right corner during a Senior substitution. Due to this string of shaky play and questionable officiating, the Seniors found themselves down 3-0 at the half.
The Faculty made very few adjustments heading into the final 25 minutes, although with Doc Fast and Mr. Brownell calling it a day they knew they would need bigger contributions from the likes of Mr. Doar, Mr. Moronta, and resident Mets fan Mr. Smith. To counter these moves, the Seniors brought on a shirtless Max Rudzinsky and started letting the speed of James Collins dictate the pace of the game. Holding the Faculty scoreless in the second half, the Seniors had numerous opportunities to find the back of the net and make a comeback but ultimately fell short when the final buzzer sounded. Nonetheless, it was a great afternoon of competition and camaraderie that ended the soccer career of most Seniors while providing a reality check that we all still have a long way to go. Congratulations to the Faculty on a great win.