On Friday afternoon Deerfield traveled to Hotchkiss for an evening game on turf and under lights. As expected, the home team was cheered by an excited and raucous crowd of supporters. In the 10th minute captain Luca Antongiovanni ’20 opened the scoring, converting a pass from Skye Bacon ’20 which followed a long punt from goalkeeper Ben Diffley ’20. Hotchkiss’s speedy and skillful forwards attacked repeatedly down the wings, but wingbacks Kade Goldberg ’21 and Nyle Kamil ’22, backed by centerbacks Isaac Abbott ’22 and Billy Curtis ’21, were able to contain and neutralize the majority of the opposition’s attacking actions. The half ended with DA up 1-0. Contrary to the first, the second half would turn out to be a veritable goal-fest! At the 54th minute Achille Sarachek ’21 ran on to a through-ball down the right from Skye Bacon and curled the ball across to the far post, where center-midfielder Brendan Kish ’20 rose high in the air to meet the ball with his head. With textbook form, Kish nodded the ball down to the ground, whereupon it bounced back up and over the hands of the helpless Hotchkiss keeper. Three minutes later, DA was awarded a free kick just to the right of the Hotchkiss penalty area. Kish struck the ball towards the top of the 6-yd box, whereupon a scramble ensued. Luca Antongiovanni managed to get to the ball as it squirted out of the legs of a Hotchkiss defender, and he buried the ball with a first-time right-footed blast. The score was 3-0 for DA, but the victory was not in the bag: just 2 minutes later Hotchkiss scored its first goal. Then, with only 20 minutes remaining, DA appeared to have closed the deal when, in an inspired individual effort, captain Zach Davis ‘20 chased down a ball on the left flank, eluded his mark, and then dribbled into the box and sent the ball curling past the outstretched arms of the Hotchkiss keeper and into the top right corner of the goal. Then, just when it seemed that DA had put the game to bed, Hotchkiss roared back, scoring 3 goals in a 7-minute span. Suddenly, with only 10 minutes left in the match it was tied at 4; and the hosts had decisively shifted the momentum in their favor. As the clock ticked down, both teams pressed for the winner – Hotchkiss attacking down the wings and through the center, while DA counter-attacked with speed and skill. With 2 minutes on the clock, Deerfield launched yet another counter-attack, with Skye Bacon pushing the ball wide to Luca Antongiovanni, who drove down the right wing towards the endline. He looked to be ready to shoot on goal, but instead played the ball across toward the left post and found Kade Goldberg, who had run a good 80 yards down the field to join in the attack. To the dismay of the Hotchkiss fans and the disbelief of their players, Goldberg calmly slotted the ball home, thereby sealing a 5-4 DA victory. A fine performance and an excellent result for a resurgent Deerfield team!
Deerfield now looks forward to tangling with a talented Loomis team on Wednesday.