After a relatively quick bus ride, DA arrived at the Loomis Chaffee School eager to dive into their final away game of the season with intensity. They had prepared well, having practiced for two days on the grass, and took to the field with confidence. From the start of the first half, Deerfield pressured the ball, showing no signs of having traveled. Defensive lifts from center backs Emma Jaskolski ’20 and Kate Kelly ’22, and right back Lizzie Eudy ’22 were penetrating Loomis’ wall on free hits, giving midfielder Renee Ballou ’20 in particular several chances to dodge and send the ball ahead to left wing Jo Louis ’23. Loomis’ strategy of crowding the player with the ball led to a bit of frustration on our part as it disrupted some of our successful ways of moving the ball down the field and into their circle. After a time out, DA did their best to adjust to Loomis’ methods with skill, including several back passes from forwards and midfielders alike. DA pushed into Loomis’ circle on several occasions, but even with two opportunities to score on corners, the ball did not find the back of the net, leaving us at a tie, 0-0, at the end of the first half.
During the second half of the game, Loomis came out with more determination and put added pressure on our defenders and midfielders. They drew one corner and had several shots on goal, saved beautifully by goalie Gabriella Hu ’21, and with the support of sweeper Lily Faucett ’20 and her backfield, DA kept their advances at bay. The struggle to utilize our excellent dodges and passing skill to break through the ever-present Loomis players continued to plague us in the second half even though we had some beautiful opportunities to score. Ellie Shilling ’21 received several back passes from forwards Ally Kell ’20 and Whitney Spader ’21. She skillfully redirected the ball to open space near the circle where forward Olivia Waterfall ’23 took solid shots on goal, rebounded by Kaitlyn Kelly ’22. DA drew one more corner but, once again, Loomis’ defense and goalie were able to thwart our scoring attempts, leaving the score at 0-0.