Zebra Tales
Henry '20

A Monumental Win Over St. Mark’s

This fall’s St. Mark’s Day was one for the ages. Due to extensive rainfall in the week leading up to the big day, all the soccer games were moved to the nearby Lancaster complex. As we stepped off the bus, a gust of frigid mid-November air collided with my cheek, and I sucked in a big breath of air, taking in my surroundings. Excited parents, players, fans, and alumni milled around the parking lot, all eagerly awaiting the commencement of this huge occasion. It was the pinnacle game of what had been a fantastic fall season for me, and I could not wait for the game to begin.
As we kicked off, our new maroon long-sleeved jerseys fluttered in the wind, and the initial five minutes were played at a frenetic pace. Both teams were a little nervous, and the match resembled a game of ping pong with neither team able to assert themselves on this huge game.

As the clock continued to tick however, we settled into our rhythm, patiently passing the ball back and forth, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. We shifted the ball back and forth as St. Mark’s sat back patiently in a rather defensive block. They had been instructed to play the match on the counter attack and so, as a result, we were able to dictate proceedings. The first true moment of excitement came in the 25th minute when our right back, Nick Steinert, whipped in a dangerous cross from the right flank. St. Mark’s panicked, attempting to clear the ball downfield, but instead their poorly executed clearance found our senior captain Walker Davey. In a flash, he was in full flight, shaping his body around the ball and hitting a vicious volley from the top of the 18-yard box. The ball flew back towards the St. Mark goalkeeper and although he was thoroughly beaten, we could only watch in agony as the ball smacked the top of the crossbar and bounced behind the net for a goal kick.

Halftime arrived, with our coach reminding us that there was still plenty of time for us to find the breakthrough, and we took the field for the second stage of the match with renewed vigor and energy. We moved the ball in the second half with greater urgency, acknowledging that we were more than talented enough to find the opening goal but also recognizing that we needed to begin to create some more dangerous chances. Fortunately, things began to change as the 60th minute approached. We went close multiple times, and everyone witnessing the game could see that a goal was coming. Finally, the ball found its way to Fourth Form attacker Max Strong inside the St. Mark’s box, and he remained calm and collected as he carefully slotted a finish into the far corner of the net. Our fans erupted at the sight of the opening goal, and we sprinted down to the corner flag to celebrate the breakthrough.

At this point, things were looking rosy for us and the smiles returned to everyone’s faces. Ten minutes later we had another, with exquisite passing down the right side by Jack Goodrich and Chewy Bruni, leading to a tap in for Mark Reiss at the far post. As the final whistle blew, our fans stormed the field and we celebrated together, elated at yet another victory over our biggest rivals. We returned to school jubilant. This game will live long in my memory.