There was lots of excitement today in anticipation of our first home game with many families and friends in attendance. Hotchkiss started the game with possession and managed to put the Bears on the defensive for the first two minutes of the game, but Berkshire quickly began to find the rhythm between the lines and soon brought its power to bear on the entire field. Three minutes into the game, Hunter Borwick ’16 made the first attempt on goal with a shot from outside the box that was saved by the goalie. Gerry Giménez-Valdés ’15 and Andre Bogdanovics ’15 also tried their luck early with powerful shots from 20 and 30 feet that made the Hotchkiss squad very nervous. The Bears were in control of the game, and their confidence was evident in their great transitions, excellent combinations, and fast counter attacks that made for a thrilling first half, but the goals were not coming. Finally, after almost 30 minutes of play, Sam Lewis ’14 received a ball from Peter Warsinske ’14 and sent it into the space in front of Charles Corcoran ’14 who had made a tremendous run, placing himself behind the surprised Hotchkiss defense. Charlie opened the scoreboard with a tremendous low shot inside the box that could not be stopped. The Bears were playing a fast and colorful soccer, but the much-awaited second goal was not coming. Hotchkiss tried to overcome the result by applying more pressure in midfield, but the Bears did not hold the ball there for long and opened the play to the wings, creating havoc in the opponents’ defense. The opponents managed, however, to get through our tight lines and one of the Hotchkiss forwards sent the ball very hard and very close to the inside of the upper right corner. Fortunately, Steven Halperin ’13 saw it well and dove dramatically, stretching his body to the limit with his right hand denying the goal that was about to be celebrated by the blues.
The second half began with Berkshire still in control but a bit overconfident. Chris Zaffanella ’15 made the best attempt on goal from well outside the box, missing the goal above the cross bar by inches. As time went on, the Bears were playing more and more as if the game did not have any more challenges worth fighting for, but they were also tired. Hotchkiss took advantage of this and staged wave after wave of attacks that tested our formidable defense. Spencer Cookson ’15 employed himself to the limit, stopping the left wing of the Hotchkiss squad and providing options for counter attacks that produced two goals for Berkshire. In one excellent counter attack, Lewis sent a through ball to Craig Puffer ’15 who was coming strong on the left flank. Puffer took it, outran the Hotchkiss defense, and practically accompanied the ball into the back of the need. The goal gave the Bears some needed oxygen in the field, and the renewed excitement culminated in the third goal for Berkshire. Our defense transitioned the ball to the midfield and then to the forward line where Max Hare ’13 made one of his typical runs, leaving the defenders in the dust and scoring. In the very last few minutes of the game, a battle for a loose ball in our box was lost. Both teams were inside the 18 and a Hotchkiss foot pushed the ball into our goal. It was a great game, and we loved playing at home.