Playing in sub-20-degree weather with blistering wind-chill, Varsity Boys’ Soccer defeated rival Gann Academy in overtime penalty kicks yesterday at Mt. Ida, advancing the Gators to the NEPSAC semi-finals.
Head Coach Chris Hardman was pleased with the team’s performance.
“It was a great win, we absolutely deserved it,” Hardman said. “When we were down by a goal, the team never dropped their heads or looked like they were giving up,”
With just eight minutes left in the second half, Olivier Khorasani ’20 tied the game, 2-2, with a kick from outside of the box that dipped just below the top-right crossbar.
Hardman was impressed by Khorasani’s goal describing it as “a thing of beauty.”
Tristan Durocher ’21 also contributed to the team’s victory with a goal that was just out of the Gann keeper’s grasp.
“We had been breaking Gann down the whole half and I knew a chance was coming,” Durocher said about his goal. “When it came, I didn’t panic and lofted the ball over the keeper.”
Miles Munkacy ’20, recently voted league MVP, was one of the players to score in the penalty shootout.
“It was one of the more nerve-wracking games I’ve ever played, but the minute the final penalty Gann kicked went over the bar, it was one of the best sports moments of my life,” Munkacy said.
In addition to Munkacy, Khorasani and Brian Barrera ’22 scored on penalty kicks.
“I was cool, calm, and collected,” Barrera said. “I was elated about getting some vengeance against Gann, especially as we lost to them in a shootout for the championship game last year.”
“The bitter cold made it unfortunate to go to penalty kicks, but once over, it felt like sweet revenge,” Khorasani said.
Given the results of last year’s championship game, Hardman felt satisfied.
“We turned around what happened last year and got the win this time,” Hardman said. “I’m very proud of the lads.”
The Gators will play the Wooster School in Danbury, CT at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday in the NEPSAC semi-finals, located at 43 Clapboard Ridge Road.