Tuesday afternoon, well-rested after a three-day weekend, NE defeated NK 7-2 in the quarterfinals of the soccer playoffs.
Fans from both NE and NK lined the pitch on Tuesday to see some magic moments in intramural soccer history. NE pounded the NK defense for the first 10 minutes of the game, unable to penetrate NK’s solid goaltending. With one break, NK barreled down the field and Mark Bickenbach slid a solid shot through the hands of the NE keeper. Not to be outdone, NE battled back, keeping the pressure on in the offensive third. At about the 15 minute mark, on a Hail Mary cross from Bill Fruhan, NE’s Kelli McKechnie was able to sneak one past the NK keeper. Continuing the drive, Geoff Henry knocked in a goal line cross from NE’s Maradona, Gabby Podskubka, bringing the tally to 2-1. Just before the half, NE’s new father, “Papa Jon” Anderson, scored a diving head goal off of a back-post throw in from Nate Kring.
In the second half, NE ran a clinic out on the field. Passing, running, shooting, and peppering NK’s stalwart goalkeeper with hair-parting shots. Papa Jon scored again off of Fruhan’s rebound to open the half. Next in line was Nate Kring, who scored after juking three defenders on a rocket left-footed shot. Bill Fruhan tallied number six on the afternoon as the sunlight faded with a lefty banger from 20 yards. NK threatened a comeback with a late game goal on a valiant counterattack out of the backfield led by Jeff LeBlanc. But, NE would hear nothing of it, as Podskubka scored on a power shot from just outside the box. At the end of regulation, the score stood at 7-2, with impressive performances by NK’s Gaston Mittendorf, Owen Wilson and Laurent de Vitton de Peyruis, along with NE’s Andrew Stern, Heidi Brooks, Bradley Weill (both on defense) and Clinton Yara (in the goal).
As darkness fell over the pitch, NE’s victorious squad headed home to rest up for a bragging-rights match against NI.