The month of September has been quite the crazy month for the Brookline Boys’ Soccer Team. The squad has had to overcome many obstacles over these past few weeks, from losing key players due to illness and injuries to struggling with a lack of goal scoring against team after team. Despite these obstacles trying to obstruct their playoff path, the Warriors have kept continued to persevere.
To recap, the Warriors started off the season strong beating Norwood (2-1) and Wellesley (1-0) and tying Walpole (1-1) and Marshfield (0-0). The Warriors then suffered their first loss after playing Bay State rivals and Boston Globe’s #1 Ranked, Needham High, at Skyline Park. Though the final score had Needham on top 2-0, the Warriors showed that they could battle with the best and that they were not just another push-around team. At that point in the season, the Warriors saw themselves breaking in to the Boston Globe’s Top 20 Rankings at 17th with a 2-1-2 record.
The following weeks proved to be quite frustrating for the Warrior’s Soccer Team as they continued to struggle with scoring goals. With 0-0 draws against both Malden and Braintree, Coach Jeff Katz realized that some tactical adjustments needed to be made.
With many players playing in new positions, the Warriors set out to conquer Weymouth High School’s 3-5-2 formation. The first half continued to be frustrating for the Warriors as they continued to have many chances that they just couldn’t put away. However, the second half finally broke the Warriors’ scoreless streak. In the 49th minute of the game, Henry Belt managed to clean up Zak Pesetsky’s free kick from right outside the eighteen-yard line, and scoring the only goal of the match, bettering the Warrior’s record to 3-1-4.
On Saturday, September 27, the Warriors played their biggest Bay State rival, Newton North, at the Kicks for Cancer charity event at Concord-Carlisle High School. In one of Brookline’s most offensively oriented matches of the season, the Newton North goalkeeper was consistently saved by the posts as Elijah Elmore and Toma Beit-Arie struggled to capitalize on golden opportunities to put the Warriors on top. The Warriors continued to have many scoring chances in the second half, but the only goal that Brookline could sneak in was when a player from Newton North ended up mishitting the ball into their own net, bringing the Warriors up 1-0 in the 60th minute of the match. With eight minutes left in the game, the Tigers managed to score the equalizer when they broke down the Warrior defense and slipped a goal through the gloves of Edmund Geschickter, ending the game in a 1-1 tie, the Warriors fifth tie of the season.
September 29, 2014 was a great day to be a part of the Brookline Warrior Family.
The team made its long voyage from Brookline High to the home of Bay State powerhouse, Framingham High School. Framingham Boys’ Soccer is notorious for their speed as well as their incredible technical abilities on the ball. Framingham also plays on a grass pitch, one that is unfamiliar to the Warriors and one that Brookline has yet to win on since 2006. Now, add rain to the mix and take away a couple of starting players from the lineup, and you have Tuesday’s matchup against the Flyers.
With the odds stacked against them, Coach Katz and the Warriors were looking to make their mark against one of the best teams in the state. The Warriors knew that Framingham was going to try to lay it on them right from the start, so their strategy was to play low pressure and hope for a draw. With eleven men behind the ball, the Warriors found themselves shutting down the Flyers attack, blocking shots, and causing the Flyers to make careless unforced errors time and time again. Though this defensive strategy proved to be effective, the Warrior attack was bleak, only generating one scoring opportunity in the first half, off of a corner kick that was stopped by the Framingham goalkeeper. Framingham managed to dominate the half with their possession, but the Brookline defense, lead by Oliver Priebe, Theo Yannekis, Keshav Prabu-Schlosser, JK Suh, and goalie Edmund Geschickter, seemed impenetrable, ending the half at 0-0.
Both teams seemed to be frustrated at the half: Brookline, for their inability to create scoring opportunities, and Framingham, for not being able to capitalize on their plethora of shots. However, Coach Katz continued to remind the boys at half that with patience, good things could come. The boys bought into the plan and they started the second half with a new found confidence. Offensive opportunities were starting to develop more often and the Framingham goalkeeper was finally seeing some pressure.
Patience was indeed golden for the Brookline Warriors. In the 72nd minute, the Flyer’s made a careless pass back to their sweeper that managed to break free in the Flyer’s own half. Junior forward, Yoel Abulaf, quickly gained possession for the Warriors and saw the opportunity to counter on the broken Flyer defense. After a quick layoff to Elijah Elmore, Elmore was able to break down the left side of the field and place a perfectly served cross to Senior Henry Belt, who netted the only goal of the game and brought the Brookline Warriors to an epic win and ended an eight year losing streak at Framingham. This win brings the Warrior’s record to 4-1-5 and marks the sixth shutout of the season for Edmund Geschickter.
The Warrior’s next game is Thursday, October, 2 at Skyline Park against Dedham High School.