Suspense turned into jubilation November 19, for the Loomis boys soccer team as the Pelicans claimed the Class A New England title with a golden-goal win over Berkshire in the second overtime of the championship game.
Both No. 2-seeded Loomis and No. 1 seed Berkshire came into the game less than 24 hours after mentally and physically exhausting semifinal games. Loomis earned its berth in the championship game with a 3-2 late-game comeback win in its semifinal against Taft, and defending New England champion Berkshire won its semifinal over Worcester in the final three minutes of their game.
Adding to the drama and friendly rivalry, Loomis head coach Tim Helfrich '96 and Berkshire head coach Charlie Bour were co-head coaches of the Loomis team last year. (Bour moved to Berkshire this year after several seasons at the helm of the Loomis boys soccer program.)
Meeting on the neutral turf of host site Northfield Mount Hermon on Sunday, the Pelicans and the Bears were well-matched. Despite solid chances for both sides, they played to a 0-0 tie at the end of regulation. They remained scoreless at the end of the first overtime period and moved into a second "sudden-death" overtime period.
Twenty seconds into the second overtime, with fans watching nervously from the sidelines and online, Loomis junior Michael Suski scored to win the game and the championship. A celebratory pileup of Pelicans rapidly ensued.