After two solid days of practice, the boys got to test their growth against Berwick Academy on a warm, sunny afternoon. Berwick started out by sinking an early goal off of some solid ball movement, but the Phoenix quickly responded with one of their own. The game moved back and forth, as the defense struggled to play as a unit. The offense, however, picked up much of the slack behind aggressive dodging and selfless passing. The first quarter ended knotted at 3 apiece. Despite the outstanding effort of keeper, Andrew Davis, Berwick began bombarding the Phoenix D due to their domination of the ground ball battle. Davis held them off time and again, but the chances were too many and Berwick began to pull away. Halftime commenced with Berwick holding a 6-3 lead. The beginning of the third quarter began as the half ended, with Berwick continuing to exploit Hyde’s faltering defense. Berwick built up a 7 point lead when they buried their 10th goal part way through the third quarter. Then the game began.
Wilson MacMillan led the transition game as he pushed the ball down the field and accumulated two assists as well as a score in the half. Mike Harris came alive and showed his resilience by winning several face-offs, scoring three goals and assisting two more. Brian Edwards continued the run he began at Woodstock with some nifty dodging leading to two scores. Zack Heatley found the net and assisted another, and Jimmy Talbott beat the Berwick keeper for two of his own. The fourth quarter charge displayed several important qualities of this team. Firstly, the Phoenix can dodge with determination. Secondly, they can play smart and, find the open man, and finish. Lastly, and most importantly, this team showed today that they have heart. Down by 7, Hyde clawed its way back, goal by goal, until they trailed by a single score. Late in the fourth quarter, Berwick held on to a meager 11-10 lead, but the Phoenix couldn’t fight the clock and let up several late goals as they attempted to force turnovers. The loss was difficult, but the lesson is valuable. Hyde can play tough, they can play smart, and they can play with an amazing amount of grit.
Congratulations to Andrew Davis as he won another game ball for his valiant play in net, standing tall and stifling numerous Berwick opportunities.