Athletics Week in Review: November 2-November 8

In the final week of the fall 2020 season, Deerfield teams continued to compete with heart and hard work. They completed the season with two final Green & White scrimmages on Wednesday and Saturday to round out each team’s four-game Green and White scrimmage series. In Wednesday’s scrimmages results, the White and Green teams were even, each posting a 5-5-1 record on the day and heading into Saturday’s culmination games, the white team’s record stood at 17-14-6 while the green team’s record was 14-17-6. The teams were very closely matched heading into the final, however the white teams held the slight record advantage. In Saturday’s final day of play in uncommonly warm New England weather, the green teams prevailed winning the day with a record of 6-4-1. The green teams won the final day of completion and the white teams prevailed by a single win in their overall record of 21-20-7.  In the end during this unprecedented fall, Deerfield teams savored practices with their teams and had the opportunity to compete and grow as teammates and athletes!

Boys Jr. B Soccer:
Quad squad combined with thirds for the last two Green and White scrimmages this week, with the teams splitting the games. On Wednesday, November 4th, White beat Green 3-2 to increase their season lead to 3-0. The first half was all White, with Barack Mwesigwa ’24  netting the first two goals, in the 7th and 16th minutes, to give White a 2-0 lead at the half. Green came out strong in the 2nd half, though, with Bennett Eun ’23 quickly scoring in the 2nd minute to cut the lead in half. Just when it seemed that Green might build some momentum, Fred Chrysler ’24 quickly struck back in the 3rd minute to restore White’s 2-goal lead. Heskey Samu ’24 scored in the 10th minute for Green to again cut the lead to 1, but neither team were able to score for the last 25 minutes of the half and the game ended with yet another 1 goal difference in White’s favor, 3-2.
On Saturday, November 7th, the Green team were finally able to pull off a win, outlasting the White team 5-4. While the season ended with a 3-1 White advantage in games, Green should be proud of this result. By the 18th minute, White had built a commanding 3-0 lead, with Jack Willett ’23 opening the scoring in the 4th minute, followed by Alex Sotirhos ’24 in the 16th minute, and Fred Chrysler ’24 quickly thereafter, in the 18th minute. Undaunted, Green kept up the pressure – and it quickly paid off, as Jamie Weymouth ’23 pulled a goal back for Green in the 20th minute. After Carson Belaire ’23 scored with the last kick of the 1st half, Green had cut the lead to 3-2 and had the momentum going into half-time. In the 8th minute of the 2nd half, Heskey Samu ’24 completed the comeback, scoring a goal to tie the game at 3. After ten minutes of tense, back and forth action, Jack Willett ’23 put White back ahead in the 19th minute, 4-3. Just when it seemed like White would pull out another squeaker, Jake Rohan ’24 stepped up and netted two goals, in the 28th and 32nd minutes, to give Green their first victory of the season, 5-4.

Girls Thirds Soccer:
3rds Soccer capped off their season with an exciting finish. The Green and White match-up was 1-1 heading into the final week. On Wednesday, White was leading 3-1, but the Green turned up their offense to tie the game 3-3, making the rivalry 1-1-1 heading into the final game.  Saturday’s game was an exciting high scoring match up.  Green scored early and were up 4-1 at half time. A few minutes into the 2nd half, the tally was 5-1. The big lead didn’t last long, however, because White found their momentum and scored 3 unanswered goals, making it 5-4. The game went down to wire with the White team nearly tying the game, but Green hung onto a 6-5 win to end the rivalry at 2-1-1 in their favor.

Girls Varsity Soccer:
The girls varsity soccer enjoyed a great final week of the 2020 season, filled with several fun small-sided games, a 6v6 tournament with the boys varsity team, an excitingly competitive game of World Cup under the lights and with two Green & White scrimmages. In an unprecedented season, the coaches were extremely proud of the positivity, effort, focus and determination of this year’s team, led by the senior class. In our final scrimmage, the White team pulled ahead with an early 3-0 lead. The green team battled hard and had some great opportunities to cut the lead, but the goalkeepers stepped up with some big time saves. The game was a back-and-forth battle in surprisingly 75 degree weather. It was in the final period of play that the Green inked the scoresheet two times to cut the lead. At the final whistle, the white held the 5-2 advantage. A big congratulations to our seniors for leading the way this season and for all that they have contributed to the Deerfield girls soccer program!

Water Polo:
With Green’s 2-goal victory on Saturday, the series of four closely contested games between the Green and White squads fittingly ended in a draw. The final game in the series was close from start to finish.  Aside from the game sense and individual skills the players developed, the best benefits of the season may have arisen in the return to coed practices, an approach that the program had used for several years in the 1990s when both the boys’ and girls’ teams played in the fall. In fact, before the girls’ team was formed in 1996, the girls played in the boys’ games. Adele McCarthy-Beauvais, who went on to become a four-time All-American player at Princeton, started on the boys’ team as a sophomore.

Girls JV Soccer:
In our final week together, the JV team finished with high spirits and energy. On Tuesday we competed in a round robin 7v7 tournament with the thirds girls, which got us ready to play in our third Green vs White game of the series, which resulted in a tie. It was a close game the whole time, and each game both teams have made clear developmental leaps. On Thursday we had our end of season pizza party, where we watched the sunset together and enjoyed some time together outside in the beautiful weather. Friday we finished our last practice with a great game of World Cup under the lights. Finally, we had our last game in the Green vs White series, where a battle took place, that came down to the wire with Green winning 6 to 5. This ended the series with Green winning with a record of 2-1-1. Both teams worked hard, and had a lot of fun playing together and getting to know one another. The season ended on a high and we will miss spending time together every week!

Girls Cross-Country:
The girls xc team had a fun last week to end the season. The team did a track workout on Tuesday where they went faster in the 200s and 400s than they had all season, and then we played an exciting game of cumulative tag on Thursday. We ended the week with a scavenger hunt on Friday; the group made up of Noelle, Lillian, Lauren and Jean were the winners of the scavenger hunt, although nobody was able to get the bonus points for a selfie with Mr. Howe! The team then finished their season with an incredible run at Green River Road on Saturday — the weather was perfect, and the snacks by the river afterwards made for a great way to end our last run!

Boys Cross-Country:
The harriers spent their penultimate week of the fall season “tapering,” which means they have been letting their bodies rest and recover from the stress of the training they have been doing all summer and fall. The taper culminates in two 5k races on the track, one week apart from one another. The first of the two culminating efforts took place this past Saturday under an unseasonably blazing sun. The first race of the day was a mile time trial for the “Shin and Ankle Awareness Group,” a stalwart collection of student-athletes who have been working through injury for nearly the entire season. Each of these runners set out with a plan to beat their season best, and all four came home successful. Thomas Harrick ’23 won the race with a 30 second PR, Paul de Bruyn Kops ’24 came in second with a 46 second PR, Ephraim Tutu ’24 nearly caught Paul with a whopping 2 minute and 2 second PR, and Mike Lee ’24 rounded out the field with a 56 second PR. This group’s remarkable effort and achievement is a credit to their steady dedication to their goals of finding health and improving fitness. The rest of the team toed the line just a few minutes later for their 5k contest. The varsity race proved to be a barnburner! Three runners, Quinn Hampson ’22, Chase Whitney ’22, and Chip Coffin ’21 took the lead with a slightly conservative pace while the pack sorted out into some more small groups, led by co-captains Thomas Lyons ’21 and Charlie Lewis ’21, then a tight pack of Trey Souder ’22, Joe Brown ’23, and Blix Salz ’24. After the first mile, Quinn began to push into the lead and as he pressed on, first Chip, then Chase began to fall back, while Thomas inched closer and closer to Chip. In the back pack, Joe Brown took the lead and began to pull away as Blix and Trey each tried to cling onto his momentum. Quinn took control of the individual title and stormed to a massive PR with a finishing time of 16:45. Meanwhile, the race for second got hot as Chip passed Chase, then with about 800m to go, Thomas passed Chip. In the final straight, Chip surged back to take second place from Thomas, whose massive effort earned him a lifetime PR (17:20). Chase had done enough finish in fourth (17:45) just ahead of a hard-charging Charlie, who took fifth (17:45). Rounding out the varsity seven were Joe Brown (18:00) and Blix Salz (18:14), while Trey, pushing through some nagging shin pain, managed eighth place (18:27). The junior varsity event featured some thrilling drama of its own as various runners had excellent performances to put caps on their season. Of note, Alex Ayres ’24 surged past his elders to a massive 19:55 finish, Robbie Hua ’24 had an incredible race to finish in 19:29, Carson Bynum ’23 accomplished a 19:20 (even though a lap counting error caused him to miss his finishing kick), and all but two of the runners enjoyed their strongest performances of the season. Looking ahead, half the team will continue to train for their final 5k of the season, while the bottom half of the ladder will move on to their winter co-currics.

Varsity Field Hockey:
Two Green & White scrimmages this week and a skills competition day on Friday meant that the team had several opportunities to pair-off and enjoy some friendly rivalry before the season concluded.  Wednesday’s scrimmage was nearly as close as the last two have been, however, the teams both displayed a great amount of improvement in their ability to move the ball, and play as a team.  Goals for both sides were scored by our ninth graders (Lexi W, Ella D, and Caitlyn L), and the midfields and defensive ends were controlled by our upperclassmen.  The Green team had to play down a player for half of the scrimmage, but managed to keep the score to a close 2-1 (win for the White team).  White kept their lead on Friday, winning the skills day by 3 – 2, just barely out-shooting, out-scoring, and out-planking the green-team.  On Saturday, after the underclassmen recognized and spoke to the leadership and special relationships they shared with our seniors, they played their final scrimmage.  In the end, the score was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes of 6 v 6 on nearly a full field.  Goals were scored by Ella Davies ’24, Maddy Zavalick ’22 (on a stroke!), and Ainsley Hatch ’22.  We conclude this fall season with enormous gratitude for the positive attitude, commitment, and enthusiasm of our seniors, Talbot, Lily, Eleanor, Hannah, and Jaden.  They made this fall memorable and enjoyable, and will be missed.

Boys Jr. A Soccer:
Our season came to a thrilling end on Saturday with a hard-fought contest between our Green and White squads. The game featured satisfying goals from Carson Belaire and Jamie Weymouth—two players who have worked hard all season and been kept from scoring by bad luck alone—as well as another by Jack Willett, out leading scorer this year. We also saw gritty defensive performances from Will Stultz, Charlie Bowers, Lucas Zheng, and Donovan Woods. Earlier in the week, we had epic scrimmages that stretched long past sunset (and long past the time the coaches intended to conclude practice). This dedicated, competitive group that was challenged in September to find a reason to care about the season by November had to be pulled off the field because they cared so much. Their coaches are really proud of them.

Boys JV Soccer:
This was our last week of Fall-Play and we could not have ended on better note: two games, 14 goals, one memorable squad.
On Wednesday, Green and White faced off again for a match of three, 22-minute periods. The Green Team started off strong, winning the first and second period, 1-0 and 2-1, respectively, with goals by Malachai York, Vignana Kamarthi, and Peter Kurto for the Green Team; Jarvis Shema was able to notch the White Team’s lone goal. However, as the Green Team took a conservative approach during the third period, drawing more players back to defend their 2-goal lead, the White Team turned on the pressure. With the crafty play of Shema and Songa Rwamucyo, and Peter Aznar Klein, the White team scored 3 unanswered goals, sealing the night with a 3-4 final score to White. This moment carried through for the next two days at practice as well.
For our last training session of the season on Friday night, the teams duked it out to the very end. After a long scrimmage with a 7-7 scoreline, there was only one way to resolve it: a penalty shootout. As if the drama of missing a shot, blocking a shot, and nailing in a game winner weren’t enough, the coaches surprised the boys with a team pizza dinner on the field, under the flood lights. It was a pleasant way to commemorate the rich memories we had shared on the pitch together– while carbo-loading for our last match the next day.
Saturday’s Play For The Day was the official culmination of our season. This time, the White Team took the early lead with Rwamucyo scoring the only two goals of the period. In the second period, the Green Team rallied after the White Team conceded an own goal, following-up with two more unanswered goals by Ocean Feng and Will Yang. With a score line 2-3 for the Green Team, the stage was set for the third and final period. Although Aznar Klein secured a goal to revitalize the White Team’s hopes, Vignam Kamarthi had the season’s last word when, off an indirect free-kick, he slotted in a late winner.
In summary, after an exciting last week of matches that illustrated the hard and  dedicated work these boys poured into this unique-fall season, Coach Gieske and Coach Arceo could not be more proud of this special group of boys. The team’s joy for the game and banter as a group will be our cherished trophy of this unprecedented season.

Boys Varsity Soccer:
Boys Varsity Soccer had an excellent last week to the fall season complete with two Green and White scrimmages, small-sided tournaments, a World Cup tournament under the lights, and even a match with the Girls Varsity squad. All of our players should feel proud about the effort they put forth to end the 2020 campaign. Our final Green and White match was especially hard-fought. White pulled out the 3-1 victory, but there were a number of excellent chances each way and everyone played to the final whistle. Congratulations to our seniors and PG’s who led the way the entire year. We are exceptionally grateful for their leadership and the example they set for the whole team in what has undoubtedly been a trying year. Thank you to the entire 2020 Boys Varsity Soccer team for your attitude and effort, and for bringing your best to practice each day!

JV Field Hockey:
The final week of JV field hockey was one for the record books!  The week began with a cold, blustery walk on the long loop, everyone donning their winter attire.  Tuesday we had our first practice ‘under the lights’ which was quite an adventure, with players exclaiming “where’s the ball!”  as we brought the day to a close with a half-field scrimmage, preparing for Wednesday’s ‘game’.  Each day the weather improved as did everyone’s spirits.  Wednesday’s sunshine helped fuel the excitement for another game day, and the girls showed tremendous growth in the team play and in their ability to trust each other on the field.  Defenders moved up to challenge the other team on break-aways, knowing that another defender or a midfielder would have their back.  Thursday and Friday brought warmer temperatures and enthusiasm for the last two practices of the season, leading us to the final scrimmage on ‘Choate Day.’  Mixing it up those last two days, we included favorite games such as ‘steal the bacon’ and ‘Emma’s game’ (named for our endearing captain Emma Jaskolski ’20) along with corners galore to round out the preparation for Saturday’s game.  Saturday was Senior Day, so the team met in a fully decorated locker room to celebrate their senior captains, Ellie Shilling, Anne Brown and Whitney Spader, and to get themselves psyched for the final scrimmage of the season.  As they walked down to the field with music blasting, it was as if the fall had been like any other.  They were covered in green and white (painted hand prints, ribbons in hair, etc) and demonstrated the kind of camaraderie they had shown all season – there is simply no ‘I’ in ‘team’ for this group!  We split this season into two iterations of Green and White teams in order to promote the experience of playing with different teammates, so on Saturday the first half was dedicated to one of the iterations (green winning 2-0) and the second half to the other iteration (green winning 2-1), with junior Katilyn Kelly sneaking in a last second goal for the White team.  As always, we finished with shoutouts, many of which were thanking the seniors for all that they shared with the team this fall.  It was, as expected, a bittersweet ending to an unusual season, but showed that even in the most strange of circumstances, the JV field hockey team rose to the challenge and grew into its own family community.

JV Volleyball:
In our last week of play we continued to make progress perfecting the skills of Volleyball, specifically our serve receive rotations.  We also tried out a few new drills that challenged our communication and focus skills.  With two competitions this week, we were able to see the real progress that our teams have made.  Although the Green Team won the week, it felt like it could have gone either-way and neither team was dominant over the other.  In our final game we saw the real difference that good serving makes in a competitive situation.  The serves of Lucy Guo, Sophia Burke, Grace Stone and Abby Persons kept the game competitive and allowed for both teams to make comebacks in Sets 1 and 2.   We end this season with every player on the team having improved on at least one key skill.  This team practiced hard and enjoyed every minute of the season together.  We will all miss the fun competition that this season provided!

There has not been a better week to be outside in November in the valley in a long time.  The football team took full advantage of the weather in the final week of the season from start to finish.  To offset the waning daylight Mr. Howe brought in portable lighting to allow teams to illuminate Jim Smith Field and the team definitely appreciated each minute together out there.  Highlights of the week started with a JV scrimmage that was as intense as any games being played across the country right now.  The game ended with the white squad coming from behind in dramatic fashion to capture a hard-fought victory.  Bobby Miele scored with time running out to cut the green squad’s lead to 13-12 and an Owen Bunten two-point conversion capped the comeback at 14-13.  The energy and effort from both teams set the tone for the rest of the week for sure.  In the team’s final scrimmage on Saturday which took place just 2 days shy of the 1 year anniversary of last year’s 20-14 victory over Choate the seniors led the way.  Donnie Gray lit it up for the white squad making big plays all over the field.  Fellow senior Tommy Stull scored on a pick six interception that stretched his team’s first half lead to 21 points. Casey Reynolds also carried the white squad adding 2 gains of over 30 yards and big defensive plays all day.  Other impressive efforts came from Cortland Dicks who quarterbacked both the green and white squads as well as Ari Kraan, Geoffrey Jamiel and Elic Ayomanor who anchored the green squad on both sides of the ball.  On the final drive from the white squad co-captain Griffin Schutz showed the crowd why he is one of the best backs to have put on the green and white jersey with a powerful and explosive 60 yard touchdown run.  We are so proud of this year’s senior class who over the course of their 4 years on campus posted an impressive 20-8 record.  They have raised the bar for the future Deerfield football program.  We are… DA!!!

Go Big Green!