Soccer (Boys): Junior A vs. Choate (11/11/23 10:30 AM)

Event Details

Deerfield put a cherry on top of its successful season with a commanding victory against a developing Choate team that never stopped playing hard on a brisk and sunny Saturday morning in the Valley. The Thirds offense showed off the impressive strides it has made in moving the ball and retaining possession in a game that took place largely on Choate’s half of the field. But it wasn’t until the nineteenth minute that DA got on the board, the first point coming from one of the most beautiful shots ever made in the South Division fields. After several drives that fizzled out in front of the goal, Jack Zhunio ’27—playing holding midfielder—took a shot from deep outside the 18’ and it curled perfectly over the scrum in front of him to find the deep left pocket. The crowd has barely finished celebrating when the offense did it again, this tme with a great combination from forwards Luka Kokosadze ’25 and Jeremy Tadesse ’27 that they served over to winger Isaac Shobola ’27 who finished to put the team up 2-0. With that lead going into halftime, the mood in the huddle was confidence mixed with dissatisfaction. Holding themselves to a high standard and careful not to underestimate what any Choate team is capable of on “Deerfield Day,” Jack Wagner ’26 challenged his teammates to score four more goals. And that’s just what they did in the second half. At 7’, Kokosadze brilliantly placed a direct kick that Wagner received expertly and sent in. Then, at 11’, ever-hungry attacking midfield Jack Webb ’27 took a shot that deflected off the diving keeper and was ready to take the next shot, which he sent the other direction to make it 4-0. Webb scored the next goal right in front of the net thanks to a great cross from Shobola. Though the team enjoyed a comfortable lead with two minutes remaining, keeper Jerry Du ’27 yelled, “Hard to the whistle!” His team responded with yet another powerful drive. Gershom Munene ’27 and Jack Zhunio ’27—both playing out of their unusual positions to help out our shorthanded defense—skillfully threaded the ball through Choate’s midfielders to find Wagner on the wing for his fifth goal of the week. Deerfield’s coaches can’t say enough the commitment, collaboration, and character of these fifteen players. They turned what for many was a disappointing team assignment coming out of JV tryouts and created a culture of winning and opportunities to substantial individual development. Records are spotty, but they probably chalked up a record number of goals- and wins-per-rostered-player of any Junior A team in DA history. More importantly, they positioned themselves to take the next step in the Deerfield soccer program and they made memories for a lifetime.