‘Twas a beautiful, sunny afternoon as the Deerfield Varsity Soccer Team took the field against Vermont Academy for their first game of the season. Energy and excitement rippled through the pre-game huddle before the DA boys hustled to their positions for kick-off. From the first whistle, Deerfield fought to dictate the tempo of the match. The bumpy, narrow field proved challenging for both sides in their efforts to sustain possession and take the lead. Unfortunately, Vermont struck first in the twenty-second minute off of a well-placed corner kick. Despite the early setback, the DA boys maintained their composure and pushed hard for an equalizer. Vermont soon caved in to Deerfield’s intense pressure as Brendan O’Connell (2016) finished a well placed cross from Stoney Cohlan (2016) in the 39th minute. Giving Vermont no time to recover, Deerfield struck again a minute later with a through ball from Camden Kelleher (2018) to Brendan O’Connell (2016) who slotted it into the side netting for his second goal of the game. The half concluded with Deerfield in the lead 2-1.
The second half of the match brought a series of aggressive tackles and subsequent fouls as both teams vied for the win. In the 55th minute, Stoney Cohlan received a strong tackle from behind in the box resulting in a penalty kick against Vermont. Felicius Bucyukundi (2016) stepped up to the plate for the PK and sent a rocket of shot into the crossbar, just barely missing a gorgeous bar down goal. The score remained at 2-1. Despite the rising drama on the field, the DA boys retained their poise and focused solely on their game. Then in the 80th minute the referee called yet another penalty kick – this time against DA. A late equalizer for Vermont could have spelled disaster had Tim Gerber (2017) not executed a brilliant diving save to keep DA in the lead. In the last ten minutes of the game, midfielders, forwards, and defenders alike set a brick wall in front of the net, denying Vermont any further opportunities to score. In the 88th minute Deerfield solidified their victory with a beautifully placed shot from attacker George Fair (2017) on a break away with the keeper. The match ended with a final score of 3-1 – a great start to the season for the boys in green.