Last minute equalizer allows boys varsity soccer to leave with a tie

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ANSLEY WASHBURN/SAGAMORE STAFF

Junior Max Luby speeds past a defender from Newton South. The Warriors were down most of the game 1-0, but scored the equalizing goal in the 76th minute and ended the game with a tie.

Ansley Washburn and Mila Seifert
Ansley Washburn and Mila Seifert
Ansley Washburn and Mila Seifert
Ansley Washburn and Mila Seifert

With crowds lining the stands for both Brookline High School and Newton South High School, the boys varsity soccer team prepared to take the field on Saturday Oct. 9. After an intense 80 minutes of back and forth play, the Warriors left the field with a 1-1 tie.

The boys varsity soccer team (BVS) dominated the first half, with a total of five corners compared to Newton’s one corner. However, despite minimal possession, the Lions managed to score on goalkeeper Max Kuriyel in the 36th minute. This left the Warriors down 1-0 going into the second half.

With two rowdy fan sections, Newton dressed in all black in contrast to Brookline’s “white-out.” The intensity of the playing environment was high.

Senior and captain, Evan Gutell, who is currently out for an ankle sprain, noted that the energy from the fans affected the game.

“There was a lot of energy from the fans which made the game more playoff-like and definitely created a more intense atmosphere,” Gutell said.

In the 21st minute, Brookline had their third corner kick of the game. The ball was crossed into the 18 yard box, and after bouncing among the players in the box, it was passed out to senior Rowan Roudebush who placed a shot on net for one of the closest opportunities in the first half.

As the first half was coming to a close, Newton South scored on a breakaway in the 36th minute. The Lions had a 1v1 in the box with Kuriyel and scored the first goal of the game. Despite this goal, Kuriyel had multiple notable saves during the game.

Closing the half down a goal, Coach Kyle Beaulieu-Jones saw how the excitement of the game influenced his player’s performance in the first 40 minutes.

“It was the first night game for some of the boys, so they were trying to do a little more than they probably should have,” Beaulieu-Jones said.

The captains had the same observation as their coach and decided to respond by talking to the team at half-time. Senior Captain Max Hatchett says they focused their meeting on motives and mindsets going into the second half.

“At half time we talked to the guys and we told them, ‘We need to play for each other. We need to remember that we’re not here for anyone else, we’re here for each other.’ We thought that in the first half everyone was playing for the fans, showing off more than they should have and taking too many touches,” Hatchett said.

Throughout the second half, the Warriors continued attacking, still maintaining more possession than their opponent and taking a total of three corners compared to the Lions’ one. Brookline had many opportunities, most coming from senior Issac Heffess, but were unable to execute a goal until the 74th minute.

The equalizer started with junior Julian Gravereaux. He cleared the ball from the Warrior’s defensive half, playing a lofted ball that landed just inside the 18 yard box. Junior was able to receive this ball and score with a one-touch volleyed shot to the lower right corner of the net, after bouncing over the Lions’ goalkeeper.

The Brookline Superfan section erupted in cheers, and the goal resulted in a surge of momentum for the Warriors in the remaining six minutes.

With multiple close opportunities in the final minutes of the game, the Warriors were left disappointed that these final opportunities didn’t result in goals. However, according to Gutell, the team’s determination was impressive. Going forward, they hope to use this comeback to propel themselves in a positive direction. Knowing that they are able to come back in such an intense environment has proven to the team how mentally strong and persistent they can be.

“I think the team feels a little disappointed; we always want to win,” Gutell said, “We always go into games believing we can win, so not winning is always disappointing, but I think we’re proud of coming back and the resiliency we displayed.”