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Counter Attack. And Fast.

In a must-win game for the soccer team, HBS dispatched Tufts with a convincing 3-goal victory. The A-team thus qualified for the Boston Graduate League play-offs.

The first half was an attritional affair. The Tufts field was narrow and rutted, which meant that there was little time for anyone to put their foot on the ball and spray around passes. This played to the strengths of Tufts who were combative in the middle of the park, and although HBS had the better chances, most flew over the bar. As usual Ben Chatraw and Brian O’Connor (OA) were impressive at the heart of HBS play. O’Connor put his body on the line again and showed quick feet to create some openings, while Chatraw was one of the few players who seemed to have time on the ball and won lots of headers in the middle of the park. But good movement from the Tufts attackers meant that the defense of Pablo Sanders (OD), Mike Marty (OG), Chris Withers (OA) and the excellent Alex Salstonall (OC) had plenty to do. Goalie, Hendrik Almsted (NJ) had to be on his toes and dived bravely at the feet of a Tufts forward to snaffle the ball. However, both teams were frustrated as the half finished all square at 0-0.

Luckily for HBS, Marty had a plan. Counter attack. And fast. With this in mind, the team focused on getting the ball forward quickly and soon reaped the benefits. After a couple of shots on the Tufts goal, Josh Yguado (OF) cracked the ball through a melee of players and put HBS 1-0 ahead. Yguado’s pace caused all sorts of trouble and he won a penalty for HBS which Chatraw smashed into the corner to double HBS’ advantage.

Some of the fight went from Tufts and HBS moved the ball out wide, stretching the Tuft’s defense. Rob Metcalf (OE) looked dangerous on the right and combined well with French duo Axel Bonnassies (OE) and Francois Duffour (OJ), who showed their sparkling skills to the HBS fans.

It was only a matter of time before HBS scored again and Ali Ashurov (OG) added number three with a crisp drive into the upper left hand corner. A nice win and one that gave HBS A top seeding in the play-offs.

November 3, 2003
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