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Coaches Corner

November 4, 2019

Girls Varsity Field Hockey

The 2019 Varsity Field Hockey team closed out their season last week with an incredible 15-3-1 record.  By the numbers, the Bombers tallied 74 goals, 39 assists, 13 shutouts, a handful of incredible and crucial defensive saves and spent 70 of the last 81 days together building a team that will be connected for a lifetime.  This unique group of 18 student-athletes started their journey back on August 13 and finished it off with a win for the ages and then a tough loss in the Midwest Field Hockey Tournament.  

On Tuesday night, the Bombers played Cor Jesu in the quarterfinals of the Midwest Field Hockey Tournament at Parkway West under the lights.  The game was delayed by almost an hour, the temperatures dropped into the 30’s and sideways rain pelted the turf.  That alone was challenge enough but layer on the opponent who we tied in the regular season due weather cutting the game short and then the pressure of tournament play.  In the face of all that, the team simply pumped up the volume on their speaker and danced on the sidelines to keep warm and their spirits up.  The joy and connection they made in that moment, amidst all the “noise”, epitomizes our 2019 team!  Once the game finally started and all the girls warmed up it was abundantly clear that both Cor Jesu and the Bombers were there to win.  The next 60 minutes were an all out battle.  The Chargers were quick with their restarts, fast with the ball and had a number of chances inside our circle.  They earned 5 corners but our defensive unit stuck together and shut down their set pieces.  Midway through the first half, Riley King corralled the ball off a rebound from the Chargers’ goalie and among a sea of sticks and feet she scooted the ball over the goal line.  GOAL!  We went into halftime with a 1-0 lead which felt good but everyone knew it wasn’t enough to seal the deal with 30 minutes left to play.  In the second half, our Bombers came out strong and took control of the game.  Hallie Williams was on fire in the midfield, Esther Pottebaum was relentless on the back-line and Grace Pottebaum was fierce in the middle of the field.  The entire team dialed into our passing game letting the ball to do the work and supporting one another on each layer of the field.  With less than five minutes to play, we earned a crucial corner.  Esther Pottebaum inserted the ball which took an odd bounce and forced the team to improvise.  They quickly adjusted, slipped the ball left and put it on goal where Esther Pottebaum tipped it in.  GOAL!  In our goal, Anna Duncan made 9 saves and Kate Smith came up with an awesome defensive save in order to keep the Chargers scoreless.  The final score was 2-0 and the Bombers were headed to the State Semifinals against Villa.

Friday afternoon, we toed up against Villa at Sportport International in order to determine who would move onto the championship game.  It was a very different day for our Bomber squad and the result was nowhere close to what we envisioned.  The Saints were stronger, faster and wanted it more than us that day.  It was a tough loss and rough way to end such a fantastic season.  When we gathered together after the game, as we always do, everyone shared their thoughts about the game and the season.  Each player had something unique to say but a clear and common theme emerged from all that was said: teammates for life.  This team built something special over the course of the last 80+ days and their journey will bind them for the rest of their lives.  They experienced high highs and low lows together.  They learned what it meant to care for one another unconditionally and commit to a common goal.  They were vulnerable with one another and fierce defenders of one another.  For 18 people of different ages, interests and personalities to achieve all of this in just 80+ days is nothing short of magical.  That is the beauty of sport! 

As we sign off, for now ;), we must acknowledge a very special group of seniors who led and set the tone for this team: Annie Arnold, Lola Fernandez, Eavan Guirl, Sydney Panagos, Emma Petite, Janie Shanahan, Caroline Strahorn, Hallie Williams and Julia Wykes.  Thank you to our Senior Captains “DJ” Syd, “Stats” Strahorn, and Janie “The Wall”.  We will miss partnering with you!  Also, thank you to the parents, siblings and Bomber hockey fans who supported all of us on this journey.  We are forever grateful.

Thank you for a great 2019 season!

Mer and Janie

Boys Varsity Soccer

After wrapping up a highly successful regular season, the Bombers soccer squad has spent the past week preparing for the state playoffs.  As the #1 seed in the Class 2, District 4 tournament, the Bombers opened their post-season play by hosting the Trinity Titans.  The game was moved to Westminster as Beckman Field was still a swamp from the recent rains. 

The Bombers came out flying and were peppering the Titans goal early, but had trouble in the finishing aspect and allowed Trinity to hang in the game.  Eventually the Bombers found the back of the net three times in the first half and then poured in five more in the second half to end this game with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.   The Bombers advance to the District FInals on Tuesday against UCity at JBS.  Come on out and cheer on the Bombers - it’s the playoffs!

Boys JV Soccer

The Boys JV Soccer team came into this season with lofty aspirations. It was apparent early on that this was an extremely skilled group, though many of the early contests saw a team that was struggling to mesh and build up offense. Over the course of the season, though, leaders emerged, and by the time the tournament rolled around, the team began to reach its potential.

In the semifinal round of the JV Metro League Tournament, JBS faced off against Priory, played at their field due to a rain-soaked and unplayable Beckman. Having snuck past them 2-1 just a week earlier, the Bomber JV knew it had to strike and strike fast. Luckily, Owen Sheehan heard the call and sparked a frenzy of goals with his aggressive offensive play early in the first half, assisting a Peter Farley goal about 10 minutes in, and then adding two of his own. Peter Farley would score a second as well, and Amaan Banga joined the fun with a ripped left footed strike, leading to a dominant 5-1 victory. 

In the championship game, Burroughs got a second chance at an MICDS team that pulled off a late tie in the first meeting, a game the Bombers let get away from them on Blue and Gold weekend. With the temperature hovering around freezing, and again, playing an away game due to Beckman's soggy conditions, there was plenty of adversity to go around. The Bombers dominated possession throughout the game, and though there were some missed offensive opportunities, the defense was stout, limiting the Rams to only a few good opportunities. Patrick Bloomquist started the positive momentum in the first half when he attacked inside the MICDS 18 and was pulled down, earning a PK. Resident Penalty Kick artist Peter Farley put home the chance. Later on, Farley would be taken down as well inside the box, and he nailed his second PK goal of the game. The score would stay at 2-0, giving the JBS JV its first Metro League title since 2015. The team had multiple players brought up for the Varsity playoff run, and here's hoping the winning mindset continues as that group makes another run at State!