Official Website for Kimball Union Wildcats

  • Soccer - Boys, JV 2

Overall Statistics
W L T %
4 5 7 46.9

Schedule

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Away
League
vs.
Hanover High School
Tie 0-0
@ Hanover High School
Away
League
vs.
New Hampton School
Tie 2-2
@ New Hampton School
Away
League
vs.
Cardigan Mountain School
Tie 0-0
@ Cardigan Mountain School
Home
League
vs.
Dublin School
Loss 0-4
@ Kimball Union Academy
Home
League
vs.
Proctor Academy
Loss 2-4
@ Kimball Union Academy
Home
League
vs.
Cushing Academy
Win 4-2
@ Kimball Union Academy
Away
League
vs.
Proctor Academy
Loss 0-4
@ Proctor Academy
Home
League
vs.
Holderness School
Tie 1-1
@ Kimball Union Academy
Away
League
vs.
Northfield Mount Hermon School
Loss 0-6
@ Northfield Mount Hermon School
Away
League
vs.
Proctor Academy
Win 3-2
@ Proctor Academy
Home
League
vs.
Hanover High School
Win 2-1
@ Kimball Union Academy
Home
League
vs.
Tilton School
Win 2-1
@ Kimball Union Academy
Away
Cancelled
League
vs.
Cardigan Mountain School
@ Cardigan Mountain School
Away
League
vs.
Proctor Academy
Tie 0-0
@ Proctor Academy
Home
League
vs.
White Mountain School
Tie 2-2
@ Kimball Union Academy
Home
League
vs.
New Hampton School
Tie 1-1
@ Kimball Union Academy
Home
League
vs.
Vermont Academy
Loss 0-3
@ Kimball Union Academy
  • 2018 - 2019
    Head Coach: John Custer

Find a Team Page

List of 16 news stories.

  • Wildcats battle Wildcats on the frozen tundra

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  • KUA and New Hampton tie for the second time this season

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  • Some goals this time ...

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  • No score, but plenty of action

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  • 4-4-4

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  • Two in a row

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  • KUA wins a close one -

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  • Lackluster performance; decisive defeat.

    Darrell Beaupre
       For years I have said that we should not play games on the same day that we take the SATs. This year, that is what we did. Perhaps we should extend this scheduling idea to those days when we take the PSAT and CWRA, as we did today. I want to think that this morning our boys expended so much mental energy in order to do well on these tests that they were completely wiped out physically…for that is how it appeared on the playing field today. Every boy fell asleep on the bus ride down to Northfield Mount Hermon, but it seemed as though most of them did not wake back up. Our game was simply, lackluster. We did not have the energy and drive that we usually display.
     
       We were down by one goal after three minutes of play, and although we held the Warthogs to just one for the rest of the half, we got lucky multiple times. I have never seen so many shots hit the post and upper bar. Coach Custer said at half that we could easily be down 0-6, as it turned out that is exactly what our final score was.
     
       Everyone played and each had a few solid contributions, but overall we just didn’t seem to have the spark that we usually have. I will write a “shout out” to two players who did seem to possess the vim and vigor: Tryder Kulbacki and Cam Barton. These two boys displayed hustle and, although not every pass went as they wanted, played smart soccer.
     
       Hopefully this Saturday, at 2:00, we will walk onto the field at Proctor with renewed vigor!
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  • It was another draw, but what a game!

    Darrell Beaupre
        Holderness Day is a tradition here at the Academy.  Every year we either pack up our teams to head over to Holderness or they all come here for an afternoon filled with competition.  To add spice and drive to the rivalry, the Heads of School decide on a wager.  This year they decided that the Head whose school won the most games would give up her school vest for a week so the losing Head could wear it.  At All School Meeting on Thursday, our Interim Head Pam Clarke shared this information and made it clear that she was loath to have to do this.  And so she beseeched us to have fun and play hard, but most importantly she left us with this charge:  Win the damn games!  It was with these words and our classmates’ support that we streamed down onto the lower playing fields for our matches.
     
       Our boys had seen this Holderness JV2 team briefly once before when we played against them at Cardigan during the Round Robin Tournament. In the twenty minutes of play neither team was able to put a ball in the net and we ended with a draw. So as we warmed up on Power’s Field, we knew that the competition would be strong.
     
       And as the first few minutes passed by, the ball moved back and forth over the center line but neither team could make headway into the other’s defensive zone. Then after four full minutes gone, Nick Wilder controled the ball and sent a pass up to Ollie Cozzi in the center who worked a give and go with (recently allowed off the DL) Cody Nguyen. They got inside the box, but a quick Holderness keeper was able to stop the ball from going in. A minute later Jack Lavalle took another shot on goal. This one was deflected out to Ollie who sent it to Cody, but this shot too was saved. Our front line was passing well: Trong Phan and Will Haynes worked out of the middle and in close. Will spun his way through three defenders at the top of the box before his shot was captured by the keeper. A few minutes later, Jonathan Li lifted a corner kick up to Trong and he slid it into Jack who was inside the penalty box, but the Bulls’ keeper was there at his feet to hug it close and keep it from from going in. Meanwhile when Holderness was able to get in close, the solid Wildcat defensive line of Nick, Kyle Young, Ben Weise, and Cam Barton were there to do their best to keep the attacks at a minimum. Cam had an exceptional day forcing the offensive drives out to the side and shutting down advances.
     
        Despite their best efforts, occasionally Holderness was able to get in close enough to raise our blood pressure. At the fifteen-minute mark they redoubled their efforts and kept our defense busy. Their right striker got control at the top corner of the box and blasted a hard shot toward the top bar, which Max van Dijk, with outstretched hand, was able to deflect over the top. This was followed up two minutes later with another high shot. This time it hit the crossbar and bounced back into play; however, Max was there to get control. And again a few minutes on, the right midfielder shot from near the low corner, but Max saved again. Through these plays our defense was certainly doing its job of keeping the shots from getting in too close. It was amazing to see the styles of two of our defenders. Nick is quick, scrappy, relentless, and everywhere, while Kyle looks almost laid-back in his approach. Kyle times his attacks in a suave manner and either acts as a wall or casually steals the ball and sends it in a high loft half way down the field.
     
       David Chuong was working with Trong and Yohan Do on the front line to get us on the board, but each of their attacks were unable to get past the keeper. Even after Keenan Thygesen was able to work his way past two defenders to send a well-timed pass up to Trong, our shot was shut down again. Cody tried his luck with first a corner kick and then a direct kick, but though his balls were well placed, the scrambling keeper was able to get his mitts on them.
     
        It’s worth mentioning here that striker, Yohan Do, has incredible speed that seems to be generated by his unique, but effective, mode of running. He propels himself forward as if by means of a swimmer’s stroke. “Swim Yohan. Swim!” is often heard from his adoring crowd, cheering from the sideline and encouraging another burst of speed. It was with this cheer that we watched as Yohan swam speedily up to a pass from Jack. But even with this unique power, we were thwarted by the keeper.
     
        As we inched closer to the half, Holderness brought it in close enough so that Max was forced to make a diving save. Then with five minutes left in the half, we earned a fluky hand-ball off what normally would have been an easy trap. Holderness earned a penalty kick. Despite Max’s best effort, Holderness placed a hard, crisp, ball to the post to put them on the board.
     
       In the final minutes, Max earned one more diving save, Kyle displayed a well-timed sliding tackle on a potential one-on-one attack, and Liam McKewan blasted a shot that, unfortunately, went just over the top rail. Our offense had kept the pressure on, Max earned at least ten saves, and the passing within the midfield had continued to improve.
     
       It was after our halftime talk that we learned the results of the day’s completions were 2-4: Holderness was ahead. There were three games still in progress and we were the only KUA team with a deficit score.
     
       Although we were ready to come back from that unfortunate goal, we were met with some bad luck. With only five minutes expired on the second half, Tyger Gao, who had been playing a tough defense, somehow got hit in the face and his glasses broke forcing him to the sideline. Five minutes later, Ben Weise, our “old reliable” in the back field, was put back on the DL. These were unlucky, but fortunately we did have fresh legged players who were ready and willing to do their bit on the field. Tho Duc Le had a solid day working through the middle, and the Tran Brother’s proved their tenacity. Kien seemed almost to be literally stuck to his man and Kevin proved his speed and determination by keeping the advancing offense outside of the box. Ethan Rozycki too was a force for good. His foot skills were scrappy and he moved the ball well in to Josh Wang who was making his mark at the midfield. He was solid, dependable and smart; three great qualities for the position. And too, we had Fintan Trimble whose undaunted efforts stuttered and stopped several drives up the side. These boys helped to keep Holderness out of our end; so that by the end of the half, Max touched the ball only when he had to place it in for goal kicks.
     
       Fresh legs was certainly an advantage that we had; however, we also began to pass more effectively and continued to take shots. Trong, Cody, Jack, Yohan, and even Nick and Kyle each tried their best to put the ball into the net, but the Bulls’ keeper always seemed to be nearby to make the save.
     
    Then with about twelve minutes left, Tryder Kulbacki received the ball from Jack. Tryder brought the ball up the left wing and sent in back into the middle to Trong. Trong’s shot was deflected by the keeper. In his attempt to reclaim it, the keeper reached out of the box to grab the ball and was penalized with a hand-ball. Trong set up for the direct kick. His shot bounced of the last man in the wall and spun inwards. Tryder timed his attack well and was there to drive the ball into the back of the net to tie the match up one to one.
     
       As the minutes slowly ticked down, we kept the ball mostly in Holderness’s end. Jack, Cody, and Trong all had shots, and David hustled more than at any time this season, but we just couldn’t get the ball in. Finally, Liam sent in our last attempt from way outside the box, but it too was caught.
     
        The final whistle blew and we ended a very well-played and exciting match. Just before we shook hands we learned that the tally was currently 4 wins to 4. Without planning it, we had just helped to make the final match of the evening the win-all. KUA and Holderness were tied with 4 ½ games apiece. The final Boys Varsity soccer game would decide which Head would be wearing the vest.
     
       Although we are not scheduled to play against this Holderness team again Coach Custer and I hope to find a way to match up again against Coach Paro’s squad once more before the end of the season.
     
    This Wednesday we head down to Northfield Mount Hermon for a 3:30 start
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  • “The stronger team won today.”

    Darrell Beaupre
        This write up could be covered in the Coach Custer’s simple comment: “The stronger team won today.”
     
    While our boys fought valiantly, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Proctor’s JV1 was going to triumph over our JV2 team, especially since we lost to their JV2 team last week. However, despite this we played hard and played well. Everyone who stepped on the turf displayed smart plays and hard work.
     
    We were able to keep Proctor from scoring for the first twenty minutes but they eventually got two past us over the course of the first half. We did get in a few shots, but the ball was mostly in our end. The Hornets kept our defensive players Kyle Young, Nick Wilder, Cam Barton, and Kevin Tran busy. As the game progressed, Kien Tran, Tyger Gao, ,Tho Le and JoshWang filtered in to help hold the strikers from getting too close to Max van Dijk.
     
    Our midfield saw much of the action and David Choung, Ollie Cozzi, Will Haynes, Liam McKewan, Trong Phan, Ethan Rozycki, Keenan Thygesen and visiting Nuri Lezbek, helped to defend and attack. Up front Jack Lavallee, Yohan Do, and Jonathan Li had a few shooting opportunities but were unable to put the ball in the net.
     
    Special mention is needed for the intense hustle that Tryder Kulbacki showed in slowing down or stopping numerous attacks by Proctor’s left wing. In addition, Kyle Young was probably the one who sent the ball into their defensive end the most. Finally, in the words of Coach Custer, “If we didn’t have Nick Wilder, Man!, we would be in trouble.” These guys worked hard, but even with their intrepid devotion to protecting our goal keeper, Max was able to rack up thirty-five saves in net.
     
    Ultimately, Proctor was able to send in four nice goals. Despite the loss, it was a fun game. Both sides showed skills, hustle and good sportsmanship.
     
       This Wednesday we will travel down to Northfield Mount Herman for a 3:30 game.
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  • Wildcats Exalt in First Victory

    Darrell Beaupre
       In Ron Shelton’s classic film Bull Durham, Eddie Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh becomes very excited after finally leaving the field without a loss.  He explains his joy to Crash Davis: “I love winning man….I love winning it’s like…..you know, better than losing.”  While Eddie was never the sharpest nail in the keg, his words hold true, and our boys were finally able to walk off the field with well-deserved grins.
     
       On Saturday we faced off against Cushing Academy’s JV2 squad at home.  The first few minute of play appeared to be an ominous sign: Cushing brought the ball deep into our end and blasted it over the net.  Thankfully, our boys regrouped. Will Hayes stole the ball from the midfield, passed it up to Jon Li in the corner, who passed it to Jack Lavallee, who sent it up to Will on the inside.  Now even though the Cushing keeper was able to make the save, we got to see how well our boys were working together.
     
     At the five-minute mark, Ollie Cozzi trapped the ball at the top of the box and sent a chip out toward the goal.  The keeper was able to get a fist on it and deflected up to a charging Tryder Kulbacki. Tryder tapped it up to Jack who shot it in for Kimball Union’s first goal of the game.  This was the boost we needed.
     
       Cushing, however, was not going to give up and kept shelling Max van Dijk with blasts from the outside, finesse shots from the side, and crashing drives up too close; and yet, Max aggressively shut each attempt down.  Cam Barton continued his smart plays on the defensive side, while we saw Keenan Thygesen send crisp passes and a long clip into the middle from the outside. Unfortunately, he was cheated out of what would have been a beautiful goal.  Trong Phan also worked hard with Tryder and Jon to get in close, but each of his shots were saved or knocked wide.
     
       Then with less than ten minutes in the half, Kyle Young made a clutch stop and booted the ball way up into Cushing’s defensive end.  Trong got control. He then took a shot from outside the penalty box and sent it into the top corner to put us up by two. Trong followed up this great play a few minutes later when he used a header to block a direct kick from just outside the box to end the half.
     
       The Wildcats were feeling good, but knew from personal experience that a team could fight its way back from a 0-2 deficit.  Josh Wang took over in the net and quickly displayed his ability to make saves. Jon caught a pass up from David Choung and sprinted for the goal.  Inside the box he was tackled from behind but nothing was called. The game began to get more physical. Kevin Tran who had been playing well at midfield had to be called off the field when his glasses cut his nose after a close play.  His brother Kiel took over on the defensive line and played a man-on-man defensive role against one of Cushing’s fastest players - he relentlessly dogged him and kept him from making successful plays. Fintan Trimble also proved his mettle at defense and even sent a beautiful long pass up to Yohan Do who forced the keeper to scramble.
     
       Fifteen minutes in and the score was unchanged.  We saw incredible pressure exerted by KUA’s offensive line.  Multiple shots peppered the Cushing keeper from, Jon, Tryder, Trong, Yohan, and David.  Jon kept getting in close, but continued to be disappointed. With twenty minutes left, Liam McKewan sent a pass from the right side into an advancing Ollie in the middle.  Liam continued up the side as the defense attacked Ollie. Ollie sent the pass back to Liam at the corner and Liam lit up a picture perfect shot over the keeper and into the opposite top corner.  We were enjoying our widest lead of the season.
     
     The suddenly with twelve minutes left we were charged with a tackle inside the box and Cushing was awarded a PK.  Although Josh made a valiant dive for it, the ball was well placed against the lower post. Cushing had lessened the lead by one and they were excited.  They built their momentum and four minutes later blasted the ball over Josh’s head from inside the box. We were within one point.
     
     The field was electrified and both teams knew that the next goal was key.  Our defensive line stepped up to the challenge and the combined force of Ben Weise, Kyle Young, and Nick Wilder would not allow the ball to enter in too close.  Then with two minutes into injury time and what proved to be seconds from the end of the match. Tryder Kulbacki stole the ball and took a shot from the top of the box.  The Cushing keeper was able to get his fingers on it, but couldn’t catch it. Jon Li, after an afternoon of thwarted attempts, proved that persistence often pays well. He gently trapped the ball and touched in a finesse shot to seal the victory for Kimball Union.
     
       And so it was that we got to experience our first hard fought victory.  There were smiles on the boys faces, they got to ring Elva’s Bell, and they all agreed that winning is definitely “better than losing.”
     
       This Wednesday we will travel to Proctor Academy to play their JV1 team at 2:30.
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  • Despite Great Passing, KUA Unable to Grasp Victory

    Darrell Beaupre
     
       Today, under the watchful eye of KUA’s Live Stream camera, our boys faced off against Proctor Academy’s JV2 team. We had met them before at Cardigan’s Round Robin and ended the match with a 0-0 tie. Today we faced them without the stalwart support of Cody Nguyen and Kyle Young, two of our key defenders who are on the DL.
      
       For the first four minutes, the play was back and forth in the middle of the field. Suddenly, Proctor pulled a dump and run and they were inside our box. Max van Dijk attacked and pulled off a save from a point blank shot. After his punt we saw Tryder Kulbacki drive far up the right side and send a cross into the middle; a play we would see many time throughout the afternoon.
     
       Proctor attacked again and through the efforts of Cam Barton, Nick Wilder and Max, they were held at bay. Unfortunately, in the ninth minute of play, Proctor was able to sneak a ball in so close to the post that those of us on the bench thought it had gone wide. Proctor was up by one.
     
    Despite trailing on the board, we got to see our developing skills on the field. Jonathan Li, Ollie Cozzi, and Will “Wemu” Haynes were passing the ball well up the right side. Jack Lavallee brought the ball deep into the defensive end, crossed it to an attacking Trong Phan who shot, but sent it a bit wide. After retrieving the punt Trong and Wemu displayed outstanding give-and-go skills and passed it off to Ollie who shot but the keeper was able to save it.
     
       The play continued to go back and forth. Max earns two more saves, Ethan Rozycki and Ben Weise shut down drives into our back field, while Liam McKewan and Trong pushed in close to their net. Kiel Tan worked hard on defense and displayed an incredible two footed kick! Something we had never seen before, but it worked. With nine minutes left in the half, Jon Li blasted in what looked like a sure goal but the keeper was there to deflect it out. A minute later Proctor again got in deep on a dump and run and was able to take a long high shot that lofted into the top corner just above Max’s outreached and diving fingers. They were up by two.
     
       After tip off Proctor came right back but Ben was quick enough to get in close; however, he was tackled and got the wind knocked out of him. This allowed Tyger Gao to enter into the match for the first time of the year and he proved to be a tough defender. The minutes ticked down and we saw another diving save from Max and a quick rush and shot off from Wemu, but we were not able to get on the board.
     
       Proctor came out hard from the half and after six minutes were able to send a blast from twenty-five outside the box and up and over goal keeper Josh Wang. Proctor was up by three and sounding cocky. Yohan Do was back in and was clearly following the instructions given him at half time. He played smart and extremely tough. And while Proctor continued to press forward, Josh Wang was thwarting their efforts.
     
       Then at the twenty-minute mark, Wemu took a direct kick after a Proctor yellow card. He sent it up to an awaiting Jack Lavallee who sent it into Ollie Cozzi who blasted it up high and over the keeper’s head. Kimball Union was on the board and fired up. Proctor answered with a second yellow card when a defender took Ollie out at the knees. Ben took the DK and sent it up to Wemu whose shot just barely missed the top corner.
     
    For the next fifteen minutes Coach Custer and all the boys on the bench were wowed with some of the best passing we have seen all year. Our boys were working as a team and controlling the play. Tryder again brought the ball deep into the right corner, sent it over to Jack who pushed it to Trong who took the shot. Liam faked out a fullback, went in deep, sent in a long shot, but it went wide. Ollie kicked another pass up to Jon, who shot but it went wide. Meanwhile for any Proctor attempt, Nick and Fintan Trimbile were solid walls of defense.
     
       Then with about nine minutes left, Nick had had enough of defending. He and took the ball up the field by himself and into the corner. He lofted the ball into Jon who dumped it to David Chuong. David drove it into the back of the next. KUA was within one point again.
     
       Our boys were fired up and the passing continued to be fun to watch. Keenan Thygesen, Kevin Tran, and Tho Duc Loc displayed smart plays in the middle and drove the ball up to our forwards. Proctor was getting a bit nervous and sent in their one very quick striker, but KU kept him at bay. Ben Weise showed speed we had not seen all year when he came in from behind to shut down a potential one on one with Josh. Josh followed up with a nice save from a blast from the outside. He sent it up to Tryder. Tryder chipped it in to Jon, but it was a bit too powerful. Off the punt, the ball got behind our defensive line and it looked like Proctor had the green light straight to our goal, but out of nowhere, and with incredible speed, Nick Wilder showed up in a flash and dashed their efforts. Who knew he was so fast!
     
    Unfortunately, despite the great passing and amazing efforts of our defensive line, Proctor was able to get inside one more time in the last few seconds and blasted in the assurance goal.
     
       Despite the 2-4 loss, Coach Custer and I were buoyed up by the quality of play and the character of our team. We have great potential and stellar souls. If you would like to watch today’s game against Proctor, check out our Live Stream on the KUA website.
     
    This Saturday we face off against Cushing Academy here at KUA. The game starts at 2:30.
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  • Defense Decimated, Then Defeated by Dublin

    Darrell Beaupre
       The day was perfect for soccer: cool and cloudy. However, the coaches knew that Saturday’s game was up in the air. Two of our defensive anchors, Kyle Young and Nick Wilder, were sidelined with injuries and we were not sure if our rookies could fill their huge shoes. When Dublin School arrived we had our traditional chat with their coaches and learned that their team was made up of “varsity ones, varsity twos, jv ones, and jv twos.” So we’d face quite a mix that afternoon.
     
       The early minutes of the game were back and forth in the middle, then Dublin took the initiative and got in close. Cody Nguyen, who was playing further back than his usual position, flew in and shut down a dangerous one-on-one attack. Minutes later Dublin sent in what Coach Custer described as a “weird, bad luck goal.” The ball was deflected up high and just barely got over the fingertips of a back-peddling Max van Dijk to earn the only point that would get by Max.
     
       KUA, although in a bit of shock, fought back hard. Ethan Rozycki worked hard to keep pace with a fast front line to drive them outside and Ollie Cozzi was scrappy and relentless in his pursuit of the ball. Each time Dublin came in close enough for a shot, Max was there to grab it or deftly flip it over the top bar. The Tran brothers again proved a force on the outsides: Kien kept Dublin wide and Kevin thwarted any attempt to get in close.
     
    While we were advancing into their end, we were yet to get a shot off. Keenan Thygesen was having to play a more defensive role, but he was forcing their offense to make undesirable passes and sticking in close. Finally, with thirty minutes gone, Jack Lavallee was able to get a shot off from the left side, but the goal keeper was there to stop it. In the last ten minutes it we saw Max save two corners, a long shot and a grass-burner. Then in the last two seconds of the half, Trong Phan used his left foot for a shot up close, but the keeper was there to save it. At the half it was 0-1.
     
       In the second half we saw Josh Wang take over the goal tending and he was as busy as Max. In the first minute he saved an indirect from going in, along with a long blast from outside the box. Cody and Ben Weise were crucial in the backfield, coming in as if out of nowhere to stop each drive before they got in too close. Tho Duc Le and Johan Do played with smart determination, forcing the shot or pass. Cam Barton, in his quiet way, was proving a very strong defender and helping to fill the missing shoes of his older teammates. Fintan Trimble, too, was working hard on the side and sent several passes up to an attacking Tryder Kulbacki who lead many drives up the field and in close to the Dublin net.
     
       Twenty minutes in and we were still down by one. Dublin drove in, shot, and Josh made a diving one handed deflection, but the ball surprisingly failed to go out of play. Dublin’s left striker recovered the ball and just happened to sneak it in. It was the second fluky goal, but it put KUA down by two. It was at that point that the stellar effort of the team began to flag.
     
         Even though David Chuong and Liam McKewan hustled the ball up through the middle to Jon Li and Will Hayes, we couldn’t get any shots to go in. Then the wheels fell off. Dublin School brought the ball inside our box, took a hard shot, and earned their first solid point of the game. That put us down by three. Three minutes later they earned a corner kick and took advantage. They placed the ball over Josh’s head and deflected the ball in for a picture perfect corner-kick goal. What followed was painful to watch. Our efforts were beginning to wobble and we saw first Ben Weise and the Cody Nguyen taken out because of injuries. Our entire veteran defensive line was gone. However……on the brighter side, those stalwart freshmen who stepped in and took over in the backfield kept Dublin from scoring again and proved that the 3rds have a solid future.
     
       This Wednesday the boys will face off against Proctor Academy at home at 2:30.
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  • We're Nothing If Not Consistent

    Darrell Beaupre
        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.
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  • Wildcats Prove "It Ain't Over Till It's Over"

    Darrell Beaupre
       It was in the 1973 National League pennant race when the sagacious seer Yogi Berra uttered the now famous words “It ain’t over till it’s over.” While he was well known for his malapropisms, many of his sayings still have bizarre truths. This certainly proved to be true on Saturday when the Kimball Union Wildcats faced off against the New Hampton Huskies.
     
       From the beginning of the match, strange things occurred. After the coaches decided on 40-minute halves, the scoreboard started with 35. Then after we lost the coin toss, we were given the sun in our eyes for the first half, even though we knew that the sun would become worse in the second. We weren’t going to argue.
     
       The match started off with crisp short passes up front between Ollie Cozzi, Trong Phan and Will Haynes, before New Hampton drove up the left side and sent a surprising shot high over Max van Dijk. The Huskies kept the pressure on and it was Will who thwarted a frighteningly close one-on-one attempt. Then for the next minutes we saw Keenan Thygesen and Fintan Trimble executing strong defensive plays until finally we watched Jack Lavalle work a give-and-go with Jon Li and Will to get up into New Hampton’s end. With only twelve minutes left in the half Jack sent a ball up the field and Trong took our first legitimate blast of the day, but it passed just high of the upper left corner. Thirty seconds later, the Huskies responded by driving up the left side deking our defense and placing a ball in close to the post for their first score.
     
    While we had three more shots in the final five (or so we thought) minutes, we couldn’t get on the board. With three minutes left on the scoreboard, the official blew his whistle and said the half was over. Bizarre.
     
       At the start of the second half we got to see the Tran brothers (Kien and Kevin) take opposite defensive wings and they forced New Hampton out to the sides. With them was Yohan Do who also broke up their attacks. Cam Barton, David Choung, and Liam McKewan also displayed an even stronger presence on the field than they had against Hanover, and proved that they had the grit to be strong members of our team. Kyle Young made an amazing block with his outstretched right leg when it looked as if New Hampton had a sure goal. Suddenly, Kien blocked a blast with his face and was forced to come out of the game. Before most of us knew what was happening, the far official gave a drop ball to the Huskies, and instead of instructing him to send a courtesy pass to us (in a Gentlemanly manner) he allowed him to take a direct kick which went over Josh Wang’s outstretch fingers. To say we were in shock would be a huge understatement. In all our years of coaching, we had never seen this happen or be allowed. New Hampton we up by two.
     
       However, the Wildcats were not going to give up. Ten minutes later it was Jon and Ollie again heading in close. Ollie took the shot, but the keeper saved it. Seconds later Jon followed up with his own drive. Jon brought the ball into the box where the keeper attacked. Jon shot high. The keeper pushed the ball up with his fingers to send it over the bar, but misjudged the distance. The ball rose in a high loft and the came to rest softly in the back of the net. We were within one.
     
       KUA kept up the pressure and the shots. Then with what we thought was eighteen (turned out to be thirteen by the official’s time) minutes, Ben Weise took a throw in and passed it up to Will Haynes. Will brought the ball to the far side of the box before taking his shot and tying the game up at two goals apiece. At that point, we lost track of how much time we actually had left in the game and focused on our saves and drives. Josh Wang earned another diving snatch and Kyle shut down another one-one-one in the box. Through all this Nick Wilder (as he had all game) darted quickly in to quell any thoughts the Huskies might have had at scoring another point.
     
    At the final whistle we felt that even with all the idiosyncrasies and the quirkiness of the game, we had played well. We hadn’t given up and proved that we had the determination to come from behind to snag victory from our opponent.
     
    Our next match will be this Wednesday at Cardigan Mountain School where we will be part of a Round Robin Tournament. The games are scheduled to start at 2:00.
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  • Season Opener Ends with Terrific Tie

    Darrell Beaupre
       For a season opener, the weather was ideal for most players: the skies were overcast with a spritzy, soft rain and the temperature hovered around seventy. As Coach Custer, Coach Hastings and I climbed off the busses and began the warm up, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. This was the first time the team had been together as a team! During our pre-game talk, Coach Custer remaindered the players that the positions they played today might not be where they would be all season, but they should play hard and have a good time. They listened.
     
    As play began, we saw several of our veteran players on the field picking up where they had left off last year at Vermont Academy. They began very well with short crisp passes that kept play in the Hanover end. Then Cody Nguyen sent a chip over the defensive line to a speeding Jonathan Li who brought it in close, took a shot, but was prevented from earning a goal by Hanover’s quick keeper; yet, the strategy was set and we would see it employed several more times in the match. Hanover crossed the midline a couple of times and faced off against Kyle Young ( Beast) our stalwart sweeper, and while he handily thwarted their efforts to get past him, he surprised the coaches by calmly sending short finesse passes to his teammates. He was, perhaps, saving his secret weapon. It wasn’t until ten minutes in that he sent a rocket three-quarters of the field, up and over a stunned but racing Oliver Cozzi, who tried desperately to catch up with it. Once we had possession of the ball again, Cody set up Tryder Kulbacki and Oliver with lead passes, but both attempts met with an agile Hanover keeper. Will Haynes, who took a sabbatical from soccer last year to test his skills filming games, proved that he still had the skills and talents in the midfield. He and Ethan Rozycki played with grit and determination.
     
     Finally, with twenty-one minutes left in the half, Max was able to get some action and touch the ball, and ten minutes later he made two more diving saves. Meanwhile we got to see the speed and talent of two new players: Trong Phan and Liam McKewan. While neither of these boys were able to get a ball passed the Hanover keeper, they proved that they will be assets to our time this season. Liam received a slick pass from Keenan Thygesen up the left side that was stopped and Trong drove in will a chip from Nuri Lesbeck, but his shot went just wide. The closest we came to putting the ball in was on another chip up from Cody to Jonathan. Jonathan settled the ball and then blasted it over the keeper’s head and against the top rail.
     
    It’s a long time traditionon our team to have a set of brothers play for us. A few memorable ones were the Ciocci brothers, the Wang brothers, and the Cogan Brothers. This year we are lucky to have the Tran Brothers. Sophomore Kevin and freshman Kien jumped seamlessly into the fray and proved a force on defense. Cameron Barton, also a neophyte to our team, passed well and moved confidently through the middle, shutting down a drive in the last minutes of the first half.
     
     As the seconds ticked down, Hanover drove in twice more. The first time they kicked the ball wide, the second time, Max dove in headfirst and deflected the ball out of danger. At the whistle the score remained 0-0.
     
     The second half proved to be a little wetter and it limited the time Yohan Do could play for us (we need to get to Stateline Sports for cleats), but he put all his heart into the few minutes he did play. Josh Wang had replaced Max in goal and he immediately proved his mettle by catching a long lob and then diving one-handed to deflect a striker’s shot. The play moved constantly from field to field, proving that this was a very well-matched game.
     
     Finton Trimble got a chance to contribute aggressive hustle and skillful passing alongside David Chuong who (although nervous before the game) bravely jumped into several attacks and redirected the ball back to our forwards. In addition Jack Lavallee, who in his KUA colors for the first time, displayed his skills and prowess and thus proved that we have a bright future ahead of us this season.
     
     Throughout this game the solid backbone of the team was our defensive line. Our veterans Kyle, Ben Weise, and Nick Wilder were our anchor. Their experience thwarted many drives and they were able to send the play back into Hanover’s end. With ten minutes left in the game, Hanover came in close in a one-on-one situation with Ben, but he skillfully deflected the ball outside to quell their hopes. With eight minutes left, Nick chipped the ball up to an awaiting Tryder. The ball took a high bounce, went over the keeper’s head, and with only inches left, the goalie was able to grab it away from Tryder.
     
       The intensity continued into the last seconds with a pass from Ben up to Nuri who shot wide, and then a blast from Trong at the corner of the box that the Hanover keeper was just able to get a fist on to deflect it out.
     
       When the final whistle was blown there was applause from both benches. The game had been well-played and both teams were proud of their effort. Both teams and had had a good time.
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Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  · info@kua.org
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.