The boys varsity soccer team took to the road for a season opener against Northfield Mt. Hermon, a top New England Prep School Athletic Conference opponent, and won the game on a last-minute goal, coming home with a 2-1 victory.
The trip was a return to the same field where the team had played its most recent game: a 1-0 overtime win in the New England final against Berkshire last November.
In the first half of Wednesday's game, both Loomis and NMH created some chances and battled for control of the middle of the field. Loomis' best chance came when defensive pressure in the opposition's half led to a turnover and senior captain Zach Peter played a ball to the feet of senior Michael Suski, who went one-on-one with the NMH keeper before the ball was cleared away for a corner kick. At halftime, the score remained at a stalemate: 0-0.
Loomis came out of halftime with a renewed commitment to pressuring higher up the field and to getting its fullbacks more involved in the attack. In the opening minutes of the second frame, a turnover at midfield led to a counterattack as sophomore Nick Bellak played an outstanding ball from the midfield to senior Alhasan Barrie, who made a one-touch pass into the path of Zach Peter, bombing forward from his position at right back. Peter played an early ball into the feet of Suski, who drew three defenders before springing the ball to an open Brady Trenchard. The senior received the pass with ease and slotted the ball into the back of the net to give Loomis a 1-0 lead.
After giving up the game tying goal on a turnover at midfield, Loomis pressed for most of the rest of the second half, winning balls high up the field and creating chances. The Pelicans finally got the lead back only minutes from the final whistle, when Peter drove a high pass towards the goal. Trenchard managed to get to the ball, this time rising up and heading the ball into the back of the net to secure an important early-season win for the Pelicans, 2-1.
The team looks to follow up its strong performance when the Pelicans travel to Phillips Exeter on Saturday, September 15, for a 2 p.m. matchup.