The boys varsity soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against Berkshire School, the defending Class A New England Prep School Athletic Conference champion, on Saturday, September 28, on Helfrich Field.
The unusually warm and sunny afternoon led to a sizeable afternoon crowd, as this game was a much-anticipated clash of two of New England’s top teams. Berkshire entered the game having won every NEPSAC game since losing to Loomis in the 2017 New England Championship game, which was the last time these two teams faced each other.
Both teams brought intensity from the opening whistle with Loomis creating two good scoring opportunities inside the opening five minutes. By halftime, Loomis was outshooting Berkshire 9-3 and controlling the majority of the play, but neither team managed to find the go-ahead goal.
The play in the second half was far more even, with both teams earning counter-attack opportunities and pressing to break the deadlock. Against the run of play, it was Berkshire that got on the scoreboard first with 20 minutes remaining in the contest when a low, driven shot from outside the box snuck underneath a diving Jamis Fite.
Undeterred, the Pelicans continued pressing for an equalizer, earning six shots in the final 15 minutes alone. Loomis finally found the back of the net with seven minutes remaining when some outstanding combination play started by junior Jon Murphy led to junior Jack Anderson slipping past Berkshire’s defense where he calmly slotted the ball into the far post.
The Pelicans had a few chances to snatch a game winner, but the final whistle blew with the teams still knotted at 1-1.
Up next, the Pelicans will host Worcester Academy, another perennial power in New England prep school soccer, on Helfrich Field at 4 pm on Wednesday, October 2. These teams last met in the semifinals of the 2018 Class A NEPSAC tournament.