Soccer (Boys): Junior A vs. Williston (11/04/23 3:00 PM)

Event Details

After fighting Williston’s JV B team to a draw down in Easthampton on October 25, Deerfield braced for a tough contest against the school’s JV A team at home on Saturday. The talent and power of the Wildcats’ squad was no surprise. What was unexpected was how tough Deerfield played them, putting together a gutsy 80 minutes without their top scorer and two other key contributors, leaving just one substitute on the bench. Despite allowing a heartbreaking equalizer in the final five seconds, the Thirds team put an end to a six-season losing streak against this challenging JV opponent. After ten minutes when neither team could get its offense much traction, midfielder (and Door of the Week) Jack Zhunio ’27 placed a beautiful free kick that captain Luka Kokosadze ’25 captured on the ricochet and served up to forward Jeremy Tadesse ’26, who sunk a hard shot to put Deerfield ahead. They held that advantage for twenty minutes before Williston broke through and tied the game. A less mentally tough team would have let that serve as a crack in the dam against a team that they came in expecting to lose. But these eleven committed teammates—now operating without any subs due to an in-game injury—locked in and the defense deflected attack after attack, led from the centerback tandem of captains Sammy Sullivan ’25 and Henry Shearer ’26. With one minute to play in the first half, winger Jack Wagner placed an excellent direct kick that Kokosadze finished with authority to send Deerfield to the huddle with the lead. The second half was an endurance battle with Deerfield keeping the Wildcats at bay only by playing as a unit with constant communication and excellent heads-up passing. Constantly maturing keeper Jerry Du ’27 kept the team’s confidence up with his intelligent decision-making in the back. Deerfield defended its lead until the game’s final moments, when a disputed call gave Williston a corner-kick opportunity which looped into the top-right corner after batted about in the mixer. “That was a game that deserved two refs,” remarked our incredibly hard-working referee. Emotions were high on the bench after the game, and the team’s challenge now is to direct that passion into preparing for the final two games on the schedule: Wednesday’s rematch at home against Loomis and Saturday’s season-ending, legend-making battle against Choate.