Yesterday we ventured over to Cardigan Mountain School to take part in a Round Robin Tournament with Proctor Academy, Holderness, and two CMS teams. The weather was beautiful and the boys played hard. After 100 minutes of play the score was, opponents 0 and KUA 0. We have continued with our streak of ties, giving us a record of 0-0-3 or 0-0-6 depending on how you look at it.
As I wrote, the boys played hard even with a multitude of injuries. We were missing Kyle Young, Tyger Gao, David Choung, Kien Tran, and Josh Wang from the start, but others such as Cam Barton, Nick Wilder, Cody Nguyen, Keenan Thygesen and Tryder Kulbacki earned kicks, twists, and hits in their brave efforts.
With Kyle’s absence the team’s mantra was that today “Ben’s the Beast.” And he lived up to the words. Over and over again, he came from nowhere to shut down opponent’s attempts to get into our defensive end. Max van Dijk was everywhere he needed to be and even suffered an injured finger when he deflected a pointblank shot and then jumped horizontally from his knees to repel a second attempt from inside the box. Cam and Fintan Trimble battled well in our defensive end and continually drove the ball to the outside. Jack Lavallee and Jonathan Li worked well together on the front line and set up and executed give-and goes and shots all afternoon. Ethan Rozychi was a stealthy defender who had an amazing way of darting in and pulling back as if a piston, and constantly thwarted offensive attacks. Ollie Cozzi played both as a striker and as a midfielder and he proved to be a smart tactician. He is a young man who understands how the game should be played. Yohan Do amazed us with one particular play when he attacked a much larger defender, took a shot on goal, sustained a wild tumble, but bounced back to forge on. Tryder Kulbacki played hard through the first two and a half games and the sustained a blow to the face and had to sit out. After the break he rallied and played his strongest match as midfielder against the much tougher Proctor team. Tho Duc Li made his soccer debut and played with aplomb. Having never played before, he was reluctant to join into our games at Hanover and NHS; he wanted to watch first. It was wise, for he now understands his role on the field. Liam McKewan worked hard, but one play in particular was memorable. He was being attacked by two strikers. He reached as far as he could with his right foot to steal the ball from the first. The second tried to take it, but Liam stretched as far as he could with his left and passed it up to Will Haynes for our advancement. Hayes too is proving to be a smart player. He has the patience to took and anticipate movement before passing or shooting. Cody Nguyen continued to give 100% dedication until he was finally forced to leave the field with an ankle injury. He is a force to reckon with. Trong Phan is also proving to be made of similar metal. No matter where is positioned, he is a solid wall who is not afraid to get in close to danger. Keenan Thygesen was scrappy up the side and anticipated how either Tryder or Jack was intending to move and positioned himself well to work with them. Kevin Tran worked with a single thought: defend our end. He attacked without thought and drove the ball successful to the outside. Finally, Nick Wilder (despite nagging foot pain) performed with his usual stealth, determination, and grit. Over and over again, he came from nowhere to get a foot in in the last second to shut down an attack and make sure that the ball moved to a teammate.
Overall, all our boys did a great job. We are starting to come together as a solid force.
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.