November 11, 2011
Wheeler School – 2
Hyde School – 0
Despite a valiant effort to claw back into the game, the Hyde School Wolf Pack lost its first ever SENE Championship appearance 2-0 to a very talented Wheeler squad. With both schools student body’s filling the sidelines, the playoff excitement in the air was palpable. Although nerves and excited touches were clear for both sides, the teams battled throughout the first forty minute frame. The first half proved to be a defensive stalemate as neither team could successfully breakdown the opposing team’s defense. Hyde’s net minder Griffin Davidson ’14 and the backline of Andreu Cullere ’12, Nasir Ibrahim ’12, Graham Davidson ’13, and Felipe Azevedo ’14 held the potent Warriors attack scoreless during the first half. Hyde’s offense struggled to find space and create chances due to Wheeler’s disciplined defensive posture.
The second half started with the same fire and tenacity as the first frame. Again, for the first twenty minutes of the half, the teams were deadlocked. The Warriors talented senior duo of Kevin Gil and Telvin Lopes kept the Wolf Pack defense on its heels, but could not break the sturdy backline. The turning point in the game took place with eighteen minutes left in the game. Senior tri-captain Andreu Cullere, the anchor of the Wolf Pack defense, went down with a hip injury after a physical challenge with Wheeler’s Lopes just outside the penalty area. This injury ultimately ended Cullere’s day and, as a result, the Wolf Pack defense was forced to make some costly adjustments. Just three minutes after Cullere’s departure, the Warriors capitalized on the Wolf Pack disorganization as Wheeler’s Kevin Gil received a perfectly weighted through ball and just narrowly beat the outstretched arms of Hyde’s goalie Griffin Davidson. With Hyde desperate to find the equalizer, the coaching staff switched to a more offensive formation, which brought more players up front, but left the defense vulnerable to counter-attack. In the 31st minute, the Wolf Pack was caught pressing the Warriors defense and upon clearing the ball from the Wheeler defensive third, Warriors senior striker Jeffrey Fleming added an insurance goal to finish the scoring at 2-0.
Although the Wolf Pack is devastated with the loss, the team takes great pride in its finest season ever and having earned its first berth in the SENE finals. The team will keep its fingers crossed as the New England committee meets this weekend to decide if Hyde School can earn its first bid to the New England tournament. A very special thanks goes out to the hordes of parents and fans that helped make today’s game feel like a home match.
The fall of 2011 has proved to be a very remarkable season for the men’s varsity soccer team. Under the leadership of senior tri-captains Nathan Chesley, Andreu Cullere, and Ethan Thoms, the team has not only enjoyed unparalleled success on the field, but also in the classroom and as sportsmen. Coaches Folan and Aronski could not be prouder of this fine group of gentlemen.