The boys wrapped up their season after a loss in their semifinal game against West Chester University on Sunday, April 30th. The Profs finished the game 11-6.
It was as nice a day as you could imagine. Nice enough to not have to wear anything more than a light jacket. Perfect weather for a semifinal game at West Chester’s Kelly Fields. The boys pulled into the area at about 3:30pm after a long and slow car ride. They saw this game as their chance at making it to the finals. So, they geared-up and revved-up for a heck of a game. They got loaded, they got fierce, and they got focused.
The team would have to compensate for the absence of three pivotal players. TJ Mulderig was still out due to his injury, midfielder/attackman Billy Van Dyke was out sick, and Rob Zybrick was busy attending a wedding. So, the Profs made due with what they had, which turned out to not be so shabby. They still had their senior juggernaut, Matt Liss, a tenacious pair of goalies, the wily shots of Matt Gorzynski, and Alex Muholland who maintained the equilibrium in this game.
The game started out as expected, in a normal back-and-forth style with multiple scoring opportunities for the Profs. Their scoring game began with a first quarter goal by junior, Chris Deck. The Profs and the Golden Rams found themselves in a power-struggle for the entirety of the first half. The Rams scored four goals and pushed the Profs to play smart. Which defense certainly acknowledged. The defense showed great feet and even without Zybrick’s commanding presence, seniors Liss and Dwight Tucci stayed fluid and intimidating as ever.
The boys had a few issues with substitutions though. Although they got into a good habit of calling their numbers as they subbed, the timings were what made the game difficult to keep up with at times. Overall, everybody hustles, but there was still work to be done as far as coming on goes. It was easy to see how much energy the team was expending throughout the game. Another issue was with the pace of offense. Scoring seemed very rushed, and as expected there were shots, a lot of shots. Attack kept shooting as soon as they got the ball. Luckily, not all were futile. Notable goals came from Gorzynski, Tim Egan, Alex Chalef, as well as another from Chris Deck and one spectacular goal by Tom Case.
The quick pace of offense lead to a tired defense. Dropped balls became an Achilles’ heel for the Profs. Those and shot attempts that bounced back in their faces. There were also some rough times with West Chester’s defense which lead to many wild chases down midfield. Long-stick middies were able to shine for the Profs though. Sophomore Mike Conroy played smart going off of a fast-break which lead to a goal slung in by Chalef. Other LSMs, Case and Ryan Fisher also contributed to a tired but very-aware midfield. Ryan Francisco changed into defensive-middie mode, armed with a short-stick that complemented his strong body. Sophomore, Nick Scardilli got a great workout, making moves while putting up with West Chester’s defense. Down low on defense, everybody got their money’s worth on groundballs, but not just seniors. Freshmen, George Sayre, Ian Rattigan, and Bruce Barrett made this game the one where their maturation showed. In goal, Derek Hofmann was athletic and loose, while Brian Mahoney was thick as usual. Mahoney found himself crushed between a couple attackmen, which laid him on the ground for a second or two. The junior stood right back up and shook it off before continuing the game as per usual.
The boys bit their lips as they ended the fourth quarter, 11-6. They knew that they did everything they could. They knew that as soon as a few goals were good, more would come out of the momentum. Which is what happened toward the end. First Chalef scored the before-mentioned goal, and then Tom Case got his. That’s just the kind of team that this is. It took a while to work the scoreboard more into their favor, but time unfortunately ran out. It was tough for the Profs, of course, but they have taken away something from this loss.
They made it so far this season. The team as a whole has grown exponentially well. They are a cohesive brotherhood that has made their name known. Those four quarters against West Chester showed the good that this team can do. It showed that every player on the team can step up and be formidable. Best of all,they can be formidable together too! It’s obvious from this that these guys can put up a fight. Most importantly, it sets the bar for next season!
Now opens the door to the future.