The boys varsity soccer squad made a short trip on Saturday night to take on Suffield Academy in a highly anticipated match under the lights. With crisp fall weather and a few hundred fans, including dozens of Loomis faithful who came to the game on a fan bus, it was a terrific environment for high school soccer.
The Pelicans were energized for the match and established dominance from the opening whistle. After generating five shots in the opening 15 minutes, junior Michael Suski gave Loomis its opening goal in the 20th minute when he beat his defender in the box and wrapped a left-footed shot inside the near post.
Shortly after the goal, sophomore Akeim Clarke entered the game as a substitute and immediately made an impact, winning 50/50 challenges, taking on defenders, and linking up with his teammates. Clarke soon battled to get on the end of a through ball from senior midfielder Jack Rosenburg. After outpacing the Suffield defense, Clarke volleyed the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the net to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
Suffield refused to go away, however, and after fighting to win the ball back in their offensive half, the home team was able to sneak in a goal before the halftime buzzer, making the score 2-1.
The home team and the home crowd were inspired by the goal and attempted to draw confidence by the tightened margin, but Loomis responded with energy and confidence of its own. The second half was more tightly contested than the first, and it began to look like the game would be won by the team with the greatest toughness on the day. The Pelican defense was stout throughout the second frame, refusing to let Suffield draw even.
In the 70th minute of the match, junior striker Alhasan Barrie got behind the Suffield defenders and lofted the ball high over the keeper's head and past the goal line. Barrie's strike was the last goal of the night, and Loomis walked away with a well-earned 3-1 victory.
The positive result keeps the Pelicans' winning streak alive at eight matches. In that stretch, Loomis has outscored its opponents 47-5.
The Pelicans hope to continue their great play when they travel to Simsbury, Conn., to take on the Marlets of Westminster on Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m.