A sunny but cool afternoon was the setting for the match-up between the #2 seed Hebron Academy Lumberjacks and the #3 seed Hyde Phoenix in the semi-final MAISAD playoffs. The whistle blew at 3pm and the game was under-way. Hyde and Hebron battled back and forth for the first 15 minutes of play. Some attacking movements and passing connections gave Hyde some decent looks at goal. Strong play by Alec Chapman ’17 at the defense and James Lee ’15 in midfield allowed Hyde to poses the ball and move it around the Hebron defense. But alas, Hebron would get the ball and attack. Fifteen minutes into play, Hebron would hit a cross into the box which found a pair of open attackers who hit the ball into the back of the net. Roughly five minutes past the first goal, a similar play found Hebron attackers open to another shot that went past the Hyde defense. The JV Phoenix continued to battle and play hard. David Wu ’15 and Joey Romo ’15 both gave great efforts on the defensive end. Hebron would eventually knock in a couple more, and Hyde would trail 4-0 at the half.
The Phoenix were not discouraged, and refocused their efforts on what could be the last 40 minutes of the season. Hyde was focused on bettering their efforts in the second half. Forward Akim Sanni ’15 was his usual, reliable self. Sanni possessed the ball, made great runs, and distributed passes to his teammates. Ben Fusco ’14, Ben Klebe ’14, and Lawson Lin ’15 were also standouts in a slower-paced game. Hyde would prove much better on defense, allowing fewer looks at the goal, and less solid shots taken. Although, the Hebron defense was top-notch on the day. The Phoenix had a difficult time getting open shots on the goal. The fast, physical Hebron team pieced together a few more attacks that ended with goals. The final score would favor the Lumberjacks 6-0.
The JV Boys’ Soccer team has come a long way since the preseason in early September. Although there may not be any more hardware in the trophy case, the season was filled with many successes. The team grew tremendously, players developed skill and confidence, and the program won its first game in the past 3 years. The JV Phoenix finished with a record of 2-9-0. The team, and its athletes, will look forward to finishing the practice season strong, and hope to carry their successes and momentum on the soccer pitch to each of their winter sports.