Deerfield’s Thirds team kept the good times rolling with an exciting win over the Bearcats in front of a home crowd of visiting family members on a perfect autumn afternoon on Saturday. Just four minutes into the game Hotchkiss broke through the DA defense and capitalized with a quick score. But one of Deerfield’s biggest assets this season is its mental toughness and ability to make adjustments. It has played some of its best soccer when coming from behind, and this would become the fifth time this season that the team climbed out of a deficit and went on to win or draw. Down 1-0, the offense significantly upped its tempo after the first round of substitutions, and ninth-grader Oscar Sanford came off the bench to tie the game because he didn’t stop running after a shot from striker Victor Kibuuka and was in position to send it back into the goal after it deflected off the keeper. Left wing Bryan Gianvecchio ’26 showed that same relentlessness at the opening of the second half and tied the game after rebounding another deflected shot from Kibuuka. After getting no corner opportunities in the first half, Deerfield honed its upfield attack to work the ball to the flags and force more balls off Hotchkiss over the goal line. Right wing James Kurto ’25 took the second corner chance and placed it brilliantly for midfielder Luka Kokosadze ’25, who scored with a textbook header. That season highlight was quickly joined by another, as Gianvecchio–whose first-half top-bar miss from outside the 18’ made the crowd gasp— shot another rocket from deep that tucked itself just inside the right post, sending the bench into a mania. Offensive fireworks aside, it was defensive performances that impressed the coaches the most, especially as the team was missing a couple key backfield players. Finn Knight ’25 and Ryan Bai ’26 have both emerged as dynamic forces at the full back position, solidifying the defense and igniting offensive drives. Xavier Armas ’24 and Preyas Sinha ’24 both did fine work at holding midfielder, sapping the energy from Hotchkiss drives and keeping DA’s offense across midfield. Nikhil Lebaka ’24 and John Patton ’23 are both earning trust as smart and steady complements to captain Matt Dillon ’23 at the center-back position. And keeper Leo Ma ’25 made some eye-popping saves in the game’s final minutes. The team was also excited to see the long-awaited season debut of Evan Galli ’25, who quickly showed he has the speed and stamina to be a key option at middie. Deerfield takes its talented roster to Simsbury, Connecticut, on Wednesday for a revenge game against Westminster, the only team that the Thirds team lost to last year.