The Bears won their third straight game on Saturday, defeating local Class A rival Kent by a score of 1-0 on Stewart Pitch. The game started well for both sides as the teams traded early possession but neither side was able to penetrate the oppositions back line. The battle in midfield which started in the opening minutes would last the full 80 minutes and it was great to see the strong, physical play from Kent be matched by the Bear's midfield of Rhi Vanderbeek, Lucy Hollister, Ana Alvarenga and Eliza Stitcher. With time winding down in the half the Bears showed some great one touch passing from winger Elizabeth Hosage and Keunna Dill to build their best attack of the half which ended with a great cross just out of reach of Jackie Pape as time expired. It was a scoreless draw at the half and while the Bears were showing great poise, it was evident that goals were going to be hard to come by as both teams were defending extremely well.
The Bears came out for the second half with the wind at their backs and showed and immediate surge in pressure. The Bears back line of Allie Brazo, Kyla Rabb, Hannah Cooke and Eliza Farley did an outstanding job of applying forward pressure and for most of the half the Bears were able to keep Kent pinned in their end. At the 65 minute mark, the Bears applied great pressure on the ball in the midfield forcing a Kent defender into a bad touch which sprung Keunna Dill in alone on the goal. She finished the play and a celebration ensued which was then ended by a late off-side call nullifying the goal. The Bears responded extremely well to the unfortunate call and continued to press the opposition in. With under ten minutes to play the Bears hard work finally paid off as they were able to spring Keunna Dill free again and while the Kent keeper made an excellent save on the first attempt, Keunna followed her rebound and banged it into the side netting for the eventual game winner. From there the Bears fell into a defensive formation and kept Kent at bay until with under ten seconds to go a Kent winger hit a great cross which was then headed just wide by a diving Kent striker. The near miss ended a well-played game by both sides and sealed the victory for the home side.
On top of an outstanding team effort, in was also a day in which several players put together their best efforts of the year. Elizabeth Hosage played a full eighty minutes on the wing and was dangerous all day, the back line of Brazo, Cooke, Rabb and Brazo were tremendous and Ana Alvarenga played her best game in a Berkshire jersey thus far. Lucy Hollister provided great support to Rhi Vanderbeek and Eliza Stichter in the midfield and Camryn Biasin earned the first shut out of her Berkshire career. Additionally, Keunna Dill extended her goal scoring streak to four games.
The Bears are back in action at home on Wednesday against another local opponent in Hotchkiss.