by Alec Kostival
Senior Day success: GFS boys’ soccer wins in comeback style
The Germantown Friends Tigers entered the day undefeated against Friends Schools League opponents with a 6-0-2 record. In order to keep their record spotless, GFS had to at least record a draw against George School.
The Tigers had their first opportunity in the seventh minute. Senior striker Max Seldin headed the ball towards the goal, but GS senior goalie, Max Malavsky, was able to make the save.
In the 14th minute, GS had better luck with the header as senior captain Logan Hillegas got the goal, giving GS the 1-0 lead. The goal was only the fourth of the year allowed by senior captain Pietro Berghella against FSL opponents.
Seldin again had an opportunity to score in the 16th minute, just missing his shot. In the 36th and 39th, GFS had two scoring opportunities coming from free kicks. They were not able not convert on either, sending the game into the second half still down a goal.
Quickly into the second half, GFS was able to alleviate their lack of scoring issues. In the 44th minute, senior mid-fielder David Harvey took a second chance ball and sent it just over Malavsky’s hand to tie the game up 1-1.
“[David] has been a real revelation this year. Nobody cares more about the game than he does and he works super hard and it’s great to see him be rewarded like that,” said head coach Sam McIlvain.
GFS continued their control of the ball and soon found the back of the net again as Seldin fed the ball to junior striker Sam Weber for the score, putting GFS up 2-1.
The Tigers slowed the game down for what was left of the 80-plus minutes. In the 75th minute, Berghella accidentally let an obscenity fly which drew a yellow card from the refs. He was briefly taken out of the game.
Even with the small hiccup, GFS was able to close out the game, winning 2-1. The win pushed GFS’ overall record to 7-4-2 to end the season.
GFS boys’ soccer upset by No. 5 seed in FSL semifinal after shootout
The Friends Schools League semifinal pitted number one seed Germantown Friends against #5 seed George School. GFS came into the game with high hopes as they had beaten George just four days earlier by a score of 2-1.
The game started fast out of the gates for GFS. In the third minute, sophomore James Hobbs-Pifer was able to put a good head on the ball, but was denied by senior goalie Max Malavsky. A minute later, junior Gray Palmer took a corner kick for GFS. He was able to serve up a quality ball, but George’s defense was able to kick it away.
In the 22nd minute, GFS had their best offensive chance. Malavsky had to make two impressive saves on the play, but was able to come out unscathed.
The field was not in good condition for the game and it showed. In the 24th minute, senior captain Isaac Myran, who was returning from injury, seemed to have the ball on a breakaway, but he suddenly slipped.
“The field, the grass isn’t great and I think that when one team is stronger than the other team, field conditions come into play,” said head coach Sam McIlvain on the field conditions. “Poor field conditions are a great equalizer.”
GFS had a few other opportunities in the first half, but were unsuccessful in breaking open the scoring.
Going into the second half, it took a few minutes for GFS’ offense to get going. In the 51st and 52nd minutes, they were able to find a couple of chances. Myran was able to get off a good shot off, but the score remained 0-0.
In the 64th and 65th minutes, George was able to start an offensive charge. In the 64th minute, George was granted a free kick. Senior captain goalie Pietro Berghella stopped a would-be scoring opportunity. Junior Elliot Barr and Myran both showed solid defense, which led to getting the ball out of the Tigers’ zone.
In the 69th and 74th minutes, Myran again found himself in front of George’s net. In both opportunities, Myran just missed wide. That would be the end of the offensive opportunity in regulation.
In overtime, the field again came into play. In what seemed to be the start of an offensive opportunity, junior Sam Weber slipped on the soft pitch in the 81st minute. In the 88th, Weber missed a shot just wide.
The second half of OT started with a solid attack from George for the first two minutes. Their offensive attempt was once again denied. OT continued with back and forth control of the ball. In the 99th minute, sophomore Liam Kleitz drew a yellow card after battling for the ball in the GFS zone.
The score ended 0-0, bring on penalty shots for the win. Weber would go first for GFS and miss just off Malavsky’s hand. For George, Fernando Rojas was able to give them the lead in penalties. In the second set of penalties, freshman Lucien Dalseth was able to make his shot. George sent up Jordan Valedpeñas-Mellor whose shot was blocked. In the third set, senior David Harvey was able to convert. Logan Hillegas missed his shot over the goal, giving GFS the advantage 2-1. The fourth set started with Myran having his shot blocked. Phil Cavallo scored for George, moving the score even 2-2. Both Max Seldin for GFS and Liam Mitchell for George missed in the fifth set.
Since it was still tied, an extra sixth set became the determining factor of the game. Sophomore Nolan Grady was denied by Malavsky. Ahmed Ahmed had the winning shot for George.
The loss eliminated GFS from the FSL playoffs. The game was the first FSL loss for GFS on the season.
“We have a whole new cup to play for and hopefully the kids will bounce back from this,” said McIlvain on still having state playoffs in the future.