ABy Kyle Russo ‘18
A fierce battle between Chaminade’s and Kellenberg’s JV soccer squads ensued on Monday, October 26 at Cantiague Park for a spot in the championship game. At the 6:30 PM start time, it was frigid cold on the pitch, but both teams were ready to look past the low temperatures and focus on the game at hand. Kellenberg had beaten the Flyers twice this season, so Chaminade’s sophomores were determined to overtake their rival.
For most of the first half, the game was a tough, defensive battle with Chaminade’s goalie Pat Grindel ’18 making numerous key saves to keep the score level. Tensions were high, and both teams knew the game would be a physical battle as a yellow card was thrown mid-way through the first half. After more passionate play and hard work, the Firebirds struck the first goal of the game with 16:23 left in the first half.
Even though Chaminade was at a deficit early on in the game, the team proved their resilience as Tim de Meij ’18 tied the score at 1-1 with a beautiful strike on a penalty kick with 5:09 remaining in the opening half.
After a fast-paced tempo to end the first half, both defenses tightened their strings in a hard-fought second half. Throughout this entire half, there were not many shots on goal as each team’s defense continually stepped up with key tackles near the box; however, the few shots that were put on goal resulted in excellent saves by both clubs, especially from Pat Grindel of the Flyers.
The game headed into overtime, and after a scoreless first period, the heated playoff game went to a second overtime. After 7 minutes of scoreless soccer, it seemed as if the game would end in penalty kicks, but on a fantastic free kick by Kellenberg which bounced into the back of the net, the Flyers’ season came to a heartbreaking end with the Firebirds on top, 2-1.
Even with this crushing blow in the playoffs, the players were proud of the way their team performed. When asked about the loss, Colin Capece ’18 said, “I was very proud of how we played today and throughout the season. We fought hard all the way to the end, and today we just didn’t come out on top.”
The Flyers definitely should be happy with the way they played this season as they finished the season with a 5-5-2 record and competed at a high level all season. The Flyers now have time to reflect on their season and prepare for next year.