In what has grown to become a very exciting local derby, Berkshire traveled 20 minutes down the road to Hotchkiss School for a rare Friday night match. With enthusiastic supporters from Berkshire and Hotchkiss on hand, Berkshire looked to grab an important early season victory against the fellow Class A power.
The match opened with both teams feeling each other out. Each team proved to be dangerous and explosive in the attack, but both teams also showed sound and organized defense. Behind the enthusiastic support of its fans, Berkshire started to assert itself on the home side, and in the 27th minute the visitors were rewarded when Austin Zaepfel '14 angled through Hotchkiss back line and had a great one-touch finish into the side netting. Kevin O'Neill '14 assisted on the play. At halftime, Berkshire held a 1-0 lead.
Entering the second half, Berkshire looked to get off to a quick start to try and build on the lead. Just six minutes into the half, Jack Harrison '15 received a pass from Tanner Tomasi '14, and then shot through a gap in Hotchkiss's midfield. Harrison struck a blast from just outside eighteen, which struck side netting. Up 2-0 the Bears knew that Hotchkiss would dig and and try and get back in the match. However, it was the Bears who would strike again. This time Kevin O'Neill '15 skillfully received and a long rebound off a Berkshire shot and then volleyed into over the head of the Hotchkiss keeper.
A 3-0 lead against most teams would be secure, but not against the powerful Hotchkiss side. Berkshire defensive organization was impressive and had managed to keep the potent Hotchkiss attack off the board through 62 minutes of play. However, the home side got one goal back at that point when a skillful combination play resulted in a nice goal for Hotchkiss. Each side would score one more before the final whistle, so in the end it proved to be an exciting match overall and Berkshire claimed an important 4-2 road victory.
Up next the Bears play Lawrence Academy in the Northeast Soccer Jamboree in Lancaster, MA.
Watch highlights and interviews here.