In the EC IM Soccer Championship, Old E beat Old B in a thriller to repeat as champions. Earlier in the RC Championship undefeated New B overcame a tough Section New F squad to claim RC glory. These two heavy weights will now face off in the school-wide championship.
With crowds of fans from both sections cheering them on, OE repeated with back-to-back indoor soccer championships, taking down OB 5-3 in the EC final. The victory was revenge for OE’s only loss of the season, when OB had taken down the Emus 10-7 earlier this year.
The victory marked a remarkable comeback from a difficult series of setbacks throughout the season. After eeking out an early victory over a talented OD squad, the Emus received terrible news: Captain Ryan “Slicker than your average” Ashley was out for the year with a torn ACL. Having lost their best player, OE struggled to find its rhythm against OB and had their HBS unbeaten streak snapped. After the loss, OE needed to regroup and Ashley took over full-time coaching duties. Over the next few games, the Emus displayed heart and character, building their new strategy week to week behind fantastic performances from Mo “Long shorts” Ghonaim, Rachael “In way better shape than all the guys” Gursky, and Brian “Boston pops” Vickery. In their final game of the regular season, the Emus showed their ability to gel without their best player with a dominating 19-0 thrashing of OF.
The EC semifinal promised to be exciting, as the OA Pandas (last year’s runner-up) had been prepping all year to take on the Emus. OE had an additional problem – star goalkeeper Josh “Cuban heat” Solera was out with an untimely virus. But no matter – stepping back into net, Emil “The iron curtain” Staykov played a fantastic match. Meanwhile, up front Jonathan “Zee German Panzer” and Federico “Twenty minutes late” Alvarez-Demalde provided the necessary offensive spark for an 8-6 victory, despite Fede showing up to the game twenty minutes late. The Emu defense was able to hold the Pandas in check, holding David “Bigger and Faster than you” Shear in check all night.
In the other side of the bracket, OB decimated OH, setting up the rematch in the EC final. OB got out to an early lead after Solera misplayed an easy shot that was eerily reminiscent of the USA/England World Cup match. After that, however, it was all Emus. Daniel “The Venezuelan sensation” Rottenberg played stout midfield, Tunde “10,000 watt smile” Kehinde provided strength in both the front and back, and Ryan “The Tennessean Pele” provided a late spark in defense . It what was a hard fought, low scoring match, OE remained consistent throughout and earned its second championship in as many years.
Old E will now face off against New B for the schoolwide championship.
Josh Solera is a goalkeeper the HBS Soccer Club and a captain of the repeat champion [OE] Emus.