Our rematch against Hanover High School started at 4:30 on a dark, cold afternoon with rain threatening. An inauspicious start, but both teams played hard in what was a fast and even matchup. The Wildcats controlled the ball early, with Will Haynes and David Choung making a series of good short passes up the right sideline. Nick Wilder, Kyle Young and Ben Weise were all strong on defense, and goalkeeper Max van Dijk made one spectacular sliding save at the top of the box in very slippery conditions. Josh Wang put KUA on the board with a hard shot that literally slipped through the Hanover keeper’s fingers and into the net. Trong Phan launched a perfect corner kick through the box but no-one could get their head on the ball, and the half ended 1-0. Several players were muttering about hypothermia during the half-time talk, but Yohan Do, who had created some great scoring chances during the first half, sat on the ground with a bag of ice on his injured leg. Maybe looking at that ice and shivering provided inspiration, but whatever the cause, both teams played even harder during the second half. Hanover launched a variety of long balls toward the KUA net and Max had his work cut out for him. Tryder Kulbacki, Jack Lavallee and Ollie Cozzi launched some strong counterattacks, but Hanover evened the score on a long blast from 40 yards out that slid just between the crossbar and Max’s outstretched fingers. With time winding down and a second consecutive tie against Hanover looking likely, Tryder fired a ball from mid-field into the Hanover end. Jon Li gathered it up and took a strong shot. The Hanover keeper deflected it, but the ball rolled across to Jack Lavallee who scored, and the game ended just before dark with KUA winning 2 – 1. Both teams deserve real credit for exhibiting tenacious play and exemplary sportsmanship in what were far from ideal playing conditions.
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.