Athletics Week in Review: Week of 9-27 to 10-3

Big Green teams had lots of exciting games last week and a few home openers! Read on to learn more about each team’s week.

Boys Jr. B Soccer:
On Wednesday, September 29th, the boys junior B soccer team hosted the Eaglebrook School on the lower fields for a 3:45 kickoff at home. Despite having a two-goal lead in the 1st half and playing much better than in the season opener, the team dropped a tough 4-3 decision to move to 0-2 on the year. The match was even for the first ten minutes, before Kevin Gonzalez ’24 gave Deerfield its first lead of the season, notching his first goal in the 12th minute to put the team up 1-0. Just two short minutes later, Finn Knight ’25 knocked in a cross from Gonzalez to double the lead in the 14th minute. Eaglebrook pulled a goal back in the 20th minute, but the Deerfield defense tightened up and the score remained at 2-1 at half-time. In the 2nd half, Eaglebrook wasted little time, scoring in the 4th and 7th minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Just over 10 minutes later, Sammy Sullivan 25’ volleyed home a corner kick in the 18th minute to tie the match and give Deerfield hope. Unfortunately for the home team, Eaglebrook scored less than a minute later for what turned out to be the final 4-3 margin. Despite playing well and creating some chances, Deerfield was unable to tie the match in the last 15 minutes of the 2nd half. The boys junior B team will be back in action on October 2nd for their first road match of the season, a 2 pm kickoff at Suffield Academy.
On Saturday, October 2nd, the boys junior B soccer team traveled south to Suffield Academy for their first road match of the season. The match kicked off at 2:30 on a beautiful fall afternoon on Suffield’s turf field, which presented a challenge for Deerfield, who’s home field is natural grass. While the team’s performance continued on an upward trajectory, the match ended in a 0-0 draw and the team’s record now stands at 0-2-1. Despite the disappointing result, Deerfield controlled play for much of the match and had numerous chances on goal. Only outstanding play by the Suffield keeper kept the match scoreless. Moises Castillo ’23 had a great chance to give Deerfield the lead just before half-time, but an inspired header off of a rebound sailed just over the crossbar. In the 6th minute of the 2nd half, Deerfield hit the crossbar with a shot, one of the numerous chances that just barely missed the back of the net. In the 11th minute, keeper Joe Berman ’25 made a spectacular save to prevent Suffield from seizing the lead. He also made a nice save on a late Suffield direct kick from close range. In addition to strong keeper play, Deerfield’s back four, made up of Jo El Wabory ’25, Preyas Sinha ’24, RJ Radonis ’25, and William Abou-Rjaili ’22 were instrumental in keeping the Suffield attack at bay and maintaining the clean sheet. The boys junior B team will be back in action, looking for their first win of the season, in a 3 pm road match at the Westminster School on October 9th.

JV Volleyball:
On the 29th we played Loomis Academy in a hard fought match. Despite loosing in three sets (25-14, 25-23,25-22), we played with a lot of energy. We look forward to learning from the first loss of the year, and are excited for our game on Friday.

Varsity Volleyball:
On Wednesday, Deerfield traveled to Windsor, CT to take on the Pelicans from Loomis. Loomis prevailed 1-3, with set scores of 14-25, 13-25, 25-22, 21-25.
Deerfield did not open the match well, conceding too many points to Loomis’s serving and hitting and not finding success against their strong defense. In the 3rd set, Deerfield started to pass better which allowed setter Daphne Gavros ‘22 to utilize the powerful and smart hitting of Cate Shanahan ‘23 and Caroline Weller ‘23 to score points. Defense from Zoe Gavros ‘23 and Elle Stearns ‘23 kept rallies going and middle hitters Aoife Bruce ‘22 and Georgia Sackrey ‘23 provided additional hitting options and worked with Evie Mokarow ‘24 to provide stronger blocking at the net.
The 3rd and 4th sets were close-fought, with strong volleyball from both teams and an energetic Loomis crowd; it was good September volleyball. Congrats to Loomis on a well-played match.
We next host Miss Hall’s School for a Friday night tilt; game time is 5:15 pm.
On Friday, Deerfield hosted Miss Hall’s for an evening game in front of a solid home crowd, emerging with a 3-0 victory.
All Deerfield players saw meaningful court time, with particular shout-outs to Tessa Bracken ‘24 and Emily Rice ‘24 for their nice service runs and good passing.
Thanks to Miss Hall’s for making the trip on a Friday night and to the fans for the great support.
We next travel to Williston on Wednesday for a match at 3 pm.

Boys JV Soccer:
We were prepared for a physical and competitive game today and that’s what we got. Right from kickoff, the pace was quick and both sides struggled to gain any room in the midfield. Taft scored midway through the half on an outstanding strike on a free kick, which went over the wall and hit the post. Things got emotional at this point, but we kept our composure and outworked Taft on the and the midfield and on the wings. Bob Zhang came off his line twice at this stage to save would-be goals to keep us at 0-1. Newcomer Zach Li was very strong at center back as well. We eventually tied the game at 1-1 on an impressive aerial turn by Heskey Samu, who then put a strong shot into the keeper’s body and it bounded over him into the net. Soon after, a player from Taft received his second yellow card and they played into halftime, and the rest of the game, a man down. After halftime, with Tom Spater in net, our side kept its cool through some contentious tackles, remained focused, and kept working hard. Mukhtar Handulle finished a sequence in the box to give us the lead, then soon after Brick Johnson streaked down the right wing and put another home. With a 3-1 lead, we kept pressing and possessing the ball. Theo Lewis made a strong solo effort down the right wing and was shoved off the ball in the box. He was awarded a penalty kick and finished it upper right. Coach Corliss and I were proud of the full 80 minute effort, the positive attitude, and the collective focus especially as we cycled all 19 healthy field players in and out. This was a well-earned, full team victory.
Jamie Weymouth finished a clean header on a corner kick from Brick Johnson to give us the lead midway through the first half in Kent, CT. On a bumpy pitch, both teams had trouble connecting passes, though Deerfield had significantly more pressure and chances. In the second half, Heskey Samu drove the left wing on a nice feed from Henry Griffin, and hammered a bounding ball in to give us a 2-0 lead. Minutes later, Tommy Augustine found a ball in the box and volleyed it in with his left foot. On a more connected sequence, Jarvis Shema found Tommy Augustine for a give-n-go, which Jarvis finished nicely with his left to give is a 4-0 lead. And then in the closing seconds, Stephen Souder fed a nice ball to Tommy Augustine down the right wing, which Tommy then ripped far panel for our final goal. Our defense and goal keeping secured another clean sheet with Andrew Lewis and Henry Griffin playing very well off the bench. Credit to Bob Zhang and Tom Spater for another solid showing in net.

Girls JV Soccer:
Deerfield Girl’s JV started Wednesday’s game with twelve players, but by the second half we were down to eleven once again. Despite our small roster, still depleted by injury and illness, the girls had good spirits and energy. Taft kept the team on its heels in the first half, pressing offensively. Katherine Margulis ’24 made some great saves to keep us at 2-0 after the half. Once the second half started, the team had renewed energy. The game was very even, and Deerfield kept it in the offensive side most of the half, but was unable to capitalize. Though Taft knocked in two more goals, Deerfield had plenty of opportunities. With twelve seconds left, Grace Honos ’22 streaked down the left side, and had a beautiful goal to end the game on a high note. We hope to have a few players back by our game on Saturday against Pomfret.
Deerfield drove to Pomfret and brought the energy with them. Early on in the game Katherine Pajak ‘23 had a near miss, followed by Alex Gold’s ‘23 penalty kick that was inches from the net as well. The Pomfret keeper was very solid in net and made some key saves to end the half. In the second half the Doors were pressing even harder, but the closest the team got to a goal was Alix Smith’s ‘25 beautiful shot that hit the cross bar. In the final few minutes of the game, Pomfret had a chance to put one in off a penalty kick, but Katherine Margulis ‘24 was unstoppable in the net. We hope to open the scoring floodgates in next week’s match up against Williston.

Girls Varsity Soccer:
The Big Green hosted the Rhinos Wednesday posting their first win of the season following 80 minutes of physical play. With Taft hoping to set the tone early they caught Deerfield on their heels as they netted a goal in the first minute. The determined DA side battled and answered with Kaelin Creagh ’24 finishing on a header assisted by Kelly Howe ’22. In the tenth minute, Jackson Kinsler ’24 slotted a pass to Creagh ’24 for a breakaway to give Deerfield the lead. Coming out strong in the 2nd half, keeper Ellie Schiller ’25 anchored the defense holding Taft to just one goal despite the technical efforts of Taft’s Marion Ayeh ’25. In the final minutes Jasmine Irizarry ’23 placed the perfect cross on the head of Eve Andon ’23 to seal the win. A well earned win for the Big Green who travel to Pomfret School this Saturday.

Varsity Field Hockey:
The varsity field hockey team travelled to Pomfret on Wednesday to play Milton Academy. Milton came out fast and Deerfield took a few minutes to adjust, but we eventually started to connect and generated some great scoring opportunities. Deerfield worked hard to draw penalty corners and eventually converted in the 3rd quarter when Maddy Zavalick ’22 tipped in a shot from Ella Davies ’24. Sage Piekarski ’23 found the back of the net in the final quarter to finish the game with a 2-0 win. Deerfield’s defensive unit of Zavalick, Grace Dumond ’22, Kate MacKenzie ’24, and Loulla Rousou ’25 played great and held Milton to zero penalty corners. Next up: our first home game against Exeter on Saturday! Go Big Green!

Girls Cross-Country:
DAGXC had a great week this week! Not only were we able to go off campus and explore some of the beautiful areas around us with a trip to Chapel Falls in Ashfield, but the team also had a great day at the Westminster Invitational race this weekend. Both the Varsity and JV teams placed fourth overall, with three Deerfield runners (Alice Zhang, Lillian Regal, and Taz Hancock, all from the class of ‘24) finishing in the top ten of the JV race – two of whom were running their first ever 5k. A huge congrats to all of our runners who defeated the big hill with not a single runner stopping to walk; clearly, running hill repeats on Pleasant Ave, and exploring the trails of the Pocumtuck Ridge at the start of the week prepared the runners well for the most challenging course of the season so far. Special shoutout to Chelsea Antero ’23 who ran her first ever 5k, not stopping once!

JV Field Hockey:
Our 12 corners in today’s late-afternoon win against Exeter pretty much sum up the team’s high energy and extraordinary effort all around. Our single goal (first of the season!) arrived late in the game — with an assist from right middie Linnea Dreslin ‘24, at the bottom right of the circle, to center middie Charlotte Steffensen ‘24, at stroke (with a lift: nice). Textbook! That well-executed, beautifully coordinated action — keeping the width, anticipating the right spot to receive a pass — expresses two ideas we’ve been working on (and doing better at) this past week, as well as what we made happen as a full team in the game overall, across the board, backs to mids to forwards. Notable performances today came from back Josephine Cramer ‘24 on transition, whose free hits/self-starts consistently boomed their way through defenders to initiate our attack; from Cornelia Streeter ‘23, at right back, who was always in position to support her middies, either keeping the attack alive or creating the transition; and from goalie Juliet Amadeo ‘24, whose huge save in the second half, in one of the few moments they put pressure on us, kept up essential momentum. With seven subs in today’s game, everyone played a part in the win, while the combined positive energy, effort, and work ethic from today’s quartet of captains and seniors — Tioba Akinjaiyeju, Maddie Benello, Zeyna Ilahi, and Kate Stenger — helped carry the day. We’re super proud of this full-team win!

Boys Cross-Country:
On a temperate afternoon in Simsbury, CT, the Deerfield harriers held their own against a wide range of teams and on the most challenging course of the season. Max Wang ‘25 led the Deerfield squad with a fourth place finish in the varsity race (and the fastest 9th grade time in recent memory). He was followed by co-captain Trey Souder ‘22, running his first race in two years. Coming off an injury, Souder rallied to finish in 17th place. Deerfield’s remaining runners finished in 23-26 places running as a pack. The junior varsity event saw George Fauver ‘22 led the way for much for of the race until a late-race mishap took him off course and out of the top ten finishers. An inspired run from Billy Tang ‘25 and Aiden van Epps ‘25 carried them to 4th and 3rd place respectively. Meanwhile, back on campus, a small group of runners completed a challenging workout that should leave them well prepared for next week’s outing at St. Paul’s School, where the Doors will toe the line against the Pelicans.

Boys Jr. A Soccer:
In its first road game of the season, the Deerfield Boys Thirds Soccer team made the long trip up to Canaan, New Hampshire, to face off against Cardigan Mountain School’s perennially strong varsity squad. Deerfield had managed to score only one goal on Cardigan in at least the last six years, and the team’s 2019 loss was a frequent topic of conversation at practice this week. The Cougars were as quick and skilled as advertised, but from the first whistle Deerfield showed itself up to the challenge. After 24 minutes of gritty struggle, DA took the lead with a brilliant break-through shot by forward James Kurto ’25. Deerfield let some undisciplined defense give Cardigan the penalty kick opportunity they used to tie the game before the half. But three minutes into the second half, DA got a penalty kick chance of its own, and midfielder Cai Harrison—fresh off his victory in this week’s PK contest—capitalized on it. Cardigan would come back to tie it late in the game, but nonstop heroism from keeper (and captain) Jack Chorske ’22, under pressure for most of the 80 minutes, kept the team undefeated. Every Deerfield played made meaningful contributions to this moral victory. Their coach will particularly remember Harrison’s willingness to jump into the challenging outside back position he’d never played before, Caleb McDaniel ’24 bouncing back from a tough collision to play hard through the end of the game, and how Walter Burkley ’24, Winston Cho ’24, and Kiefer Ebling ’25 seemingly never stopped running. In the week ahead, the schedule does not get any easier with a road trip to NMH on Wednesday, but the team is excited to keep finding out what it is capable of.

Varsity Football:
Deerfield won their home opener by a score of 33-13 against Suffield Academy.  QB Liam O’Brien had a season high 3 touchdown passes.  Two of them went to WR Geoffrey Jamiel and one to WR Wedner Cadet.  Cadet also played every snap on defense and defended some key passes.  RB Nick Peltekian and RB Matt Hickey contributed a touchdown each to round out the scoring by Deerfield.  Sophomore CB Ty Curran got his first start at CB and had 3 pass break ups.  The defense recorded 4 sacks by 4 different players (Sekou Roland, Christian Reavis, Henry Foster, and Cooper DeMallie).  The kickoff team held Suffield to bad field position all day due in large part to Kicker Stone Anderson.  Deerfield looks to make it 4 in a row against Salisbury on Saturday, October 9th.

Girls Varsity Soccer:
The Deerfield Girls Varsity soccer team travelled to the Pomfret School on Saturday hoping to close out the week in convincing fashion after a great week of practice and a hard earned, come from behind win at home on Wednesday afternoon.
DA controlled possession for much of the first half, taking shots from distance and using the width of the field effectively but an organized Pomfret team made it challenging to create anything inside the 18-yard box. Jackson Kinsler ’22, Morgan Moriarty ’22 and Emma Kahle ’22 created opportunities with their high work rate, helping the team transition from defense to offense seamlessly. The team went into the half tied 0-0 and the girls were motivated heading into the second half after a solid showing in the first forty minutes.
With the score tied with twenty minutes to go, DA still controlled the flow of play and continued to push numbers forward looking to break the tie. A beautifully taken free kick from Jasmine Irrizary ’23 was denied by a brilliant save from the Pomfret keeper as she parried it over the crossbar. With twelve minutes to go, the home team managed to knock home a rebound through traffic after a dangerous corner kick giving them a 1-0 lead. For the remainder of the game, DA pushed numbers forward and did everything they could to tie the game but Pomfret’s solid defensive performance helped them walk away with a 1-0 win.
The girls put forth an excellent effort on a hot fall day and will continue to improve as the season goes on.

Go Big Green!