Congratulations to the HBS soccer club, which finished the fall season with a hard-fought 3-2 victory in the finals of the Boston Graduate League.
Having finished the regular season in first place, the HBS “A” squad drew the top seed for the post-season tournament. It then proceeded to handily beat Babson 5-1 in the semi-finals. Babson defenders were reportedly still recovering from the burn marks. According to inside sources, an HBS player alledgedly sent the Babson team a bottle of Calamine lotion to soothe their pain.
Coming into this past weekend’s game against the Kennedy School of Government, the HBS players knew they were in for a challenging game.
KSG had played well all season, and had beaten the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in the semifinals. HBS’s only blemish in its regular record was to GSAS in the first week of the season. However, Co-captain Brian O’Connor (OA and candidate for the Graduate Schools Along the Charles River All-Star team) reported that the team felt so confident that they had sent goalkeeper Hendrik Almstadt (NJ) away for the weekend in Las Vegas to bet the entire soccer club’s funds with several bookies.
Foremost, the weather proved to be a major factor-40 degrees, cloudy, and cold. As the HBS team donned their white jerseys and tried to get warm, Co-captain TJ “I Always Shoot This Well” Carella (OA) went through the lineup and game plan with his players. During the pre-game pep talk, striker Dwight “I Want a Coat Like Sahil Has” Angelini (OB) urged the team to “do it for Withers.” Star defender Chris Withers (OA) missed the game, having been deported back to England for “gross violations in nail painting” at the P-ball.
KSG came out strong, moving the ball quickly and changing fields often. However, HBS soon regained its footing as halfbacks Carella, Ben “Don’t Look at My Blisters” Chatraw (OH), and Ali Ashurov (OG) helped control the midfield. Carella put HBS on the board with a magnificent 35 yard, upper-90 bullet on a direct kick. Said Carella, “I’ve done that shot about 20 times with my eyes closed. Honestly, it wasn’t even my best shot.”
The half ended with that goal as the lone score.
The second provided much more back and forth play. KSG continued to press on HBS’ defense, and found a stroke of luck when the ref called a penalty kick inside the goalkeeper’s box.
While KSG immediately resumed its fast-paced attack, HBS goalkeeper Ryan McMonagle (NE) made a series of unbelievable saves. Eventually however, KSG scored on a rebound off a crossing ball. HBS, facing a 2-1 deficit, picked itself up with determination and began counter-attacking.
HBS soon answered back, again courtesy of Carella. This time he sent a direct kick rocketing from the left side, across the face of the goal and into the upper-90 of the net. Surya Mendonca (OF), sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered at the hands of a KSG hooligan in the first half, commented (in his best English), “Now that is certainly TJ’s best shot. Myself, I could do it with my left foot. But for TJ, not bad.”
The game continued to be deadlocked for the next 10 minutes until Ben Chatrow dribbled through four KSG players and found Santiago Marra (ND) unmarked at the top of the box. Marra coolly dribbled a few steps and easily beat the goalkeeper in the lower right corner to put HBS ahead 3-2. KSG turned up the intensity of its attack, dominating play for the last 10 minutes. However, the HBS defense, led by Ro Diehl (OJ), Michael Marty (OG), Rob Metcalf (OE), and Alex Saltonstall (OC), held strong and goalkeeper McMonagle made one amazing save after another. HBS held on for the championship, retiring afterwards to Shay’s. They look to continue their winning ways at the next tournament, in Austin, TX, this February.
The HBS A Team
Santiago Marra (ND), Ryan McMonagle (NE), Sahil Patel (NH), Hendrik Almstadt (NJ), TJ Carella, Chris Withers, Brian O’Connor (all OA), Dwight Angelini (OB), Alex Salstonall (OC), Pablo Sanders, Roberto Silva (both OD), Axel Bonnassies, Luis Bueno, Rob Metcalfe (all OE), Josh Yguado, Surya Mendonca (both OF), Ali Ashurov, Mike Marty (both OG), Ben Chatraw, Max Hang (both OH), Ro Diehl, Francois Dufour (both OJ)