Boys Varsity A Soccer
October 29, 2019
Home - Putnam Science
Rectory hosted Putnam Science Academy's 8th and 9th-grade team on Tuesday. It was a chance for us to prove how much we've grown since our early season match up. PSA showed up with only 10 total players, so we played 9 v. 9 in the field with keepers.
The match got off to a quick start with the PSA players moving the ball around the field in a menacing fashion. They pinged a few hopeful shots at the net, which Ryder A. easily handled. Eventually, the relentless pressure got the best of us, and PSA took the lead. We began pushing the ball upfield to create openings for ourselves. Justin M. ran relentlessly down the right-wing and combined well with Teddy F. and Eric H. in the midfield. PSA countered off a lost possession and doubled their lead against the run of play. However, Will L. took it on himself to bring us back in the game. He sprinted onto a long ball from Eric H., battled off two defenders, and slammed the ball into the net, continuing his impressive goal-scoring season. Just minutes later, Teddy F. burst through the backline of PSA and was facing the keeper 1-on-1. With a little shoulder drop and deft touch, Teddy expertly rounded the keeper before being illegally pulled to the ground. He gathered the ball for the penalty, but the referee erroneously claimed that the foul had taken place 10 yards away and conveniently outside the box. This would have resulted in a red card for the keeper, but none was issued. The team was furious that such an illogical decision had been reached. Meanwhile, Teddy channeled his focus on the freekick and lashed a curling effort that bested the keeper and lodged in the top corner. It was a thunderous strike indicative of all the hard work Teddy has put into the team over the years. While our moment was short-lived, and PSA dominated the rest of the proceedings, the boys played until the end with heads held high. Eric M. and George D. deserve praise for sprinting after the ball up top, and our ever-present backline of Sam C., Ryan C., and James D-B. made PSA work for each goal they scored.
It was a tough loss for the team, but as soon as the final whistle blew, our thoughts were already on the big tournament at Eaglebrook this weekend. We dusted ourselves off and began mentally preparing ourselves for the biggest day of the season.
November 2, 2019
Away - Eaglebrook Tournament
5th Place Finish 2-3-1
We traveled to Eaglebrook on a cold Saturday morning for the 45th Annual Junior Schools Tournament. The 12 teams are broken into two groups. Schools play five 20-minute matches in round-robin style to determine a finishing order (1-6th) in their bracket. The order determines which school you play in the final round for position (i.e., the two #1 teams play for 1st/2nd place, the two #2 teams play for 3rd/4th, etc.). In this format, Rectory's highest ever finish is 9th place. Our goal was to leave Eaglebrook finishing at least 8th.
Our opening round of play was against Eaglebrook's JV team. When we took to the pitch, the frost on the field froze toes and coated the ball in icy snow. It was 28 degrees when the horn blew, and the match started. Immediately it was clear that the conditions were going to be a significant factor in the result. The ball ricocheted around ankles and slipped over feet nonstop for the opening 5 minutes. Ryan C. and Sam C. helped push the ball forward with Ryder A. playing a sweeper-keeper role as we advanced up the field. George D. and Justin K. both went close with efforts from outside the box. Will L. gave us a chance to get on the board when his throw fell to Teddy F. on the 12, but an Eaglebrook player made a last-ditch stop. On a long ball forward from the midfield, Eaglebrook won a throw near our box. The toss bounced and skipped around and landed at the feet of their striker just two yards out who tucked the ball into our net with only 8 minutes to play. Rectory regrouped and pushed forward with everything we had. Unfortunately, the ball just wouldn't go our way as chance after chance fell through our fingers. The whistle blew, and Eaglebrook handed us our first defeat of the day.
We took the field against Fay 30 minutes later, hoping to sneak one by one of the tournament favorites. We immediately put pressure on them with Teddy F. and Eric H. serving as much needed muscle in the middle of the park. Ryan C. led Sam C. and James D-B. in holding a high line, which repeatedly caught the Fay forwards offsides. We were successfully disrupting their play and slinging the ball up the pitch. After a foul, Ryder A. needed to be at his best to make two phenomenal saves in three minutes to keep the game level at 0-0. Subs gave us new energy with Stanley Z., Armstrong W., Maxtin H., and Eric M. making Fay's life uncomfortable. After 10 minutes, it was still 0-0, a testament to our efforts. Fay eventually broke through our lines twice and notched two excellent goals. Teddy F. immediately struck back with a 50-yard thunderbolt that sailed over the Fay keeper and into the far side netting. It was the goal of the day and took the punch out of Fay. We defended as well as we could, but Fay's firepower proved too great.
In our final morning match, we faced off against eventual finalists, Fessenden. Again, our backline was immense under the repeated pressure of the opposing offense. Ryder A. had himself yet another exceptional game. He cut out crosses, met shots bravely, and chased down players in his box. Justin K. and Justin M. were getting the best of the Fessy defense down the right-wing with crosses just missing Eric H. and Teddy F. running in late. Our best chance of the match came when a defender slipped on the ball, which allowed Will L. to run in 1-on-1 with the keeper. However, the ref ruled the slip a foul despite Will being nowhere near the Fessy player. Even the other ref admitted the call was a massive mistake at 0-0. In the confusion as we protested the egregious call, Fessenden launched the ball forward and ran in on Ryder with four forwards. It was a demoralizing call that was made all the more frustrating as another player who was 5 yards offsides scored their second. Rectory continued to knock on the door and almost got on the board late in a tough matchup.
The morning had not gone our way. The boys were optimistic that our efforts in the afternoon would carry us into a high finish. We knew that if we won both games and some other results went our way, that we had a chance of finishing third in our bracket and fighting for 5th place. Bement has been a tricky team for us for the past several years. Despite our dominant play, we've only beaten them once. This year they returned with a similarly solid backline that we knew we would have to play around rather than through. Immediately we knew that the speed of Ryan C. and Sam C. and the positional play of James D-B. would allow us to push our midfield forward. George D. got into a few good positions early but was unable to take a full swing. The ball kept popping out to mids at the top of the box, but Teddy F. and Eric H. were closed down quickly. A slip at midfield gave Bement a chance to run forward, and their striker managed to get a ball past Ryder in net. Our hearts began to drop before Ryan C. came sprinting out of nowhere to clear the ball off the goalline and keep us in the tournament. Moments later, Sam C. repeated the feat and knocked the ball upfield. This burst of energy reverberated through the entire team, and, within a minute, Justin M. had smashed the ball through the keeper's legs to give us a massive lead. We continued to press forward with Will L. and Eric M. doing all they could to make Bement uncomfortable. When the final whistle blew, we knew we were on our way to a great afternoon.
Our final match of group play was against Foote, who we only ever face at the tournament. Despite not scoring a goal all day, Foote was chipper as they took the field against us. Maxtin H., Eric H., and Teddy F. bossed the midfield throughout the 20-minute affair. Foote could only watch as Teddy turned players inside and out before slipping dangerous passes in for our forwards to run onto. Armstrong W. made his most significant impact by scoring under pressure halfway through the match. A flicked pass from Eric H. found him unmarked inside the box, and he wrapped his foot around the ball and past the keeper for a 1-0 lead. Justin K. had the next chance as he went on a darting run from midfield to the box before blasting his effort high and wide. This was a mistake he atoned for minutes later. Teddy F. scooped a ball over the heads of the Foote defenders, and Justin K. wasted no time in making the match 2-0 with less than 5 minutes remaining. We controlled the tempo and ran the clock out to earn our second win and 3rd place in our group.
In our finale, we faced off against Cardigan Mountain School for 5th place. Having had a big day themselves, Cadigan was confident in their play as we joined them on the pitch. This worked in our favor as we were well settled into our style of play by this point in the day. We began pinging the ball around the field with a calm precision that frustrated both their players and their coach. The tide of the match was with us. Ryan C. was a monster in the air, and Sam C. and James D-B. didn't put a foot wrong the entire time. Ryder A. was more than up to each shot he faced. Justin M. and Will L. had the most demanding jobs working on the wings. Will's long throws and Justin's interplay with the midfield were constant threats to Cardigan's goal. We had two chances to snag a lead, both of which came from Teddy F.. Twice, Teddy shredded the Cardigan midfield at the midfield line, and twice he launched 35-yard efforts at the keeper. The first struck the bar, and the second was met by the keeper's fingertips and pushed onto a post. An inch on either would've registered a certain game-winning goal. Time expired with Cardigan compressed in the back, trying to run out the clock.
We finished tied for 5th, by far our best ever finish. The boys were overjoyed with their play and the result. As coaches, we couldn't be more proud of what they accomplish and how they did it. We returned to campus twelve hours after we'd left with full hearts and plenty of leftover pizza in tow. The team now had just a single practice before our final match away at Hillside on Wednesday.
November 6, 2019
Away - Hillside
The BVA team headed north to Hillside for our final match of the 2019 season. Having stopped Hillside's undefeated season last year and having finished seven spots above them at the Eaglebrook tournament, we were confident that the day would be ours. Due to injuries and the Quinnebaug Valley Concert, we were a bit shorthanded and only had three subs. Peter H. took over for Ryder A. in net while Sam C. filled the Ryan C.-shaped hole in the center of our defense.
Right from the start, we could tell that the game was going to be a battle. The ball skipped on the slick turf, a playing surface that we've struggled with all season. Our threaded balls forward either flew to the keeper or met our players in offside positions. After the first 15 minutes, we finally began to exert some control over proceedings with Teddy F. and Eric H. locking down the midfield. Will L., George D., and Justin K. sprinted their hearts out to open up the Hillside backline. George had the best looks initially but could not put the ball on target. Finally, Teddy F. saw a path through the Hillside defense. He shredded his way through four players at vicious speed, juked out the keeper, and slid the ball home for a 0-1 lead. Hillside immediately began to throw players forward to catch us out, which opened the game considerably. Maxtin H. put a through ball in towards Will L., but the Hillside keeper made a tremendous stop. In our end, Peter H. made seven saves in the first half with his best coming off a direct freekick with 10 minutes to play in the half. A missed clearance defensively gave the star Hillside player a chance to smash in a leveling goal. Justin M., playing in the right-back position, marauded up the flank to get us back into the match, but no one could meet his teasing cross.
In the second half, we shifted ourselves positionally to gain the upper hand. Sam C. and James D-B. took up striking duties while Eric M. and Stanley Z. dropped back to cover defensively. Sam had a great look just minutes into the half. He burned the Hillside defenders in a footrace and tucked the ball under the keeper. Somehow, a Hillside player raced back to clear the ball off the line, although there were more than a few shouts that the ball had crossed. Peter H. continued his exceptional game in net with two stops on breakaways to keep us level at 1-1. A deflected shot gave Hillside a corner with 15 to go, which their centreback headed home uncontested. Minutes later, their lead grew following a defensive slip on a clearance. The game was still in reach, and Teddy and Eric H. both went close with ambitious efforts that were deflected out. A corner from Justin K. bounced onto a hand, but no whistle came. We continued to work tirelessly up until the end.
The boys were proud of their efforts on the day but disappointed with the result. We all knew that with a full-strength team, it would have been a totally different match. We finished our season with five wins, six losses, and a 5th place finish at the Eaglebrook tournament. The players deserve an immense amount of credit for their efforts and attitude across the season.
Boys Varsity B Soccer
Coach C. O'Neil
October 23, 2019
Home - Hillside
The Varsity B team welcomed Hillside to Rectory on October 23. It was one of the best games of the season! It was back and forth for the entire 60 minutes. Unfortunately, we gave away a goal by teeing up the Hillside striker with a ball sent to the middle of the field on defense, but we responded with two exceptional goals of our own. The first one was a perfect cross from Jayden F. to Cal M. who finished smoothly. The second started with Phillip C. playing the ball up the line and finding Cal M. in the middle of the field. He faked the goalie one way, leaving himself with an open net to put away his second goal on the day. Hillside responded with several attacks of their own, but thanks to the great job in our goal by Angelo B., they were unable to even the score. It was a great match up and we look forward to heading to Hillside to play another great game in a couple weeks.
November 4, 2019
Away - Worcester Academy
Rectory traveled to Gaskill Field for a rematch against Worcester Academy. After a week off from games, the team was excited to get back to the pitch. Earlier in the season, the teams ended in a tie, demonstrating their even level of talent and ability. We were looking forward to a great game and we got one! The teams stayed even in the first half, with neither team being able to put a ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately, Worcester fought through our defense first scoring two quick goals in succession. We were able to get one back thanks to Cal M. and an open net, but couldn't bring the game back to even. It was a good game by both teams.
November 7, 2019
Away - Hillside
Varsity B traveled to Hillside for their final game of the season. The game started great with Drew B. scoring about five minutes in. After that, neither team could seem to get into a rhythm. Hillside scored one of their own with less than ten minutes to go in the half which tied it at one. Cal M. hit one in the back of the net shortly before the end of the half but, unfortunately, it was called back after an off sides call by the official. In the second half, we were able to get one more on our side of the scoreboard, but the ball seemed to spend most of its time with Hillside's offense in the second half. Angelo B. made several great saves, but the Hillside offense was relentless getting two more of their own in the half. It's always tough to end the season on a loss, but Coach Smith and I are extremely proud of how the boys have improved from the beginning of the season to now. It's been a pleasure to coach each and every one of them and we wish them luck in the winter season!
Boys JV Soccer
October 29, 2019
Home - Renbrook
Down on our home field, our JV squad took to the field in our second to last soccer match of the season. We opened up well against a slower Renbrook team, passing often across the field, spreading ourselves out so that we could work the defense into tight spots, and using good communication up and down the field. Max Z., a standout player who usually plays at the center of our defensive backline, took a turn at right striker. And over the course of the first half, he netted two beautiful goals with ease. Our midfield did a great job of keeping the Renbrook attack at bay, guiding their forward balls to the sidelines and away from the scoring zone. We had a great match of hustle from our defensive corps who have been working on jockeying as the forwards come toward them rather than lunging or stepping up too soon, and consequently letting the forward past. Coach Hart, Coach Woodard, and I have worked with them on this via drills and scrimmages. Paul and Andres also scored their first goals of the season in the first few minutes of the game! It was great to see them celebrate a good effort up front. Next week, we look forward to our last game against Hillside. Wish us luck!
Boys Recreational Soccer
October 23, 2019
Home - Kingswood Oxford
Our team was excited to host a home game versus Kingswood Oxford (KO). They came out strong, looking to connect passes and move the ball forward. Tony S. worked hard, controlling the ball out of our end and helped to move the ball forward. Our mids and strikers were able to come into striking distance a few times. We had a few chances early on in the game, and they were looking for give and goes, and they were talking to each other well. Owen Z. was able to find the back of the net with a goal. As we headed into the half, they were behind 2-1, but spirits were high as they went into the second half. Unfortunately, KO came out strong and scored early on in the second half. The Rectory boys continued to work hard during the second half, but they struggled against a strong KO team, eventually losing the game.
October 28, 2019
Away - American School of the Deaf
The Rec Team traveled out to the American School of the Deaf (ASD) in West Hartford, CT. We arrived ready to play and excited to have our second meeting with ASD. As the game got started, our excitement took over, and our passes weren't connecting, but our effort to the ball was strong. They went after every ball earning two goals in the first half. The boys displayed poise throughout the game. We were helping to signal when the play was over, and a call had been made on the field. During the halftime huddle, we talked about the need to look to better control the ball and to talk to each other to connect the passes. When the second half started, our players were settled and playing our style of soccer, with the ball moving from feet to feet and players moving to open space and talking. The ball control and great effort put forth by the boys led us to a 4-1 win!
Our coaching staff truly appreciated the effort they put forth and the patience they displayed on the field. All season I have asked players to play in new positions, and though they may have been hesitant, many players learned to enjoy their new roles. This was our last game of the season, and it was great to end with a win!
November 6, 2019
Home - Fay
The wolves finished off their season with their last meet against Fay School. For many of our runners this would be the last time running until secondary school or in general. We will miss our ninth graders and wish them the best of luck next year in secondary school; Annabelle B., Ryan B., Jason C. ,Tony C. , Bob D., Darius H., Hana I., James J., Jim R., Inaki R., Adam T., Tony W., Yuno Y. On a cold day the runners were ready to give it their all until next years season.
Varsity Girls Soccer
October 29, 2019
Home - Renbrook
Renbrook traveled to Rectory on October 29th for a rematch. In our first game against Renbrook, we saw a lot of improvement from our players when it came to spacing out. They were able to pass the ball better and make solid runs up the field to get some shots on goal. The same happened in this game, except we saw even more improvement. Our passes were connecting, and the girls were doing some difficult combination passes to get up the field. It was the first time all season we have seen combination passes from the girls. Seeing that was a true testament that they had been improving over this season. The game was back and forth for the most part. Mimi N. had some incredible saves in the net, but Renbrook still had two shots find the back of it. Chloe W. scored on a cross from Isabel D. and got us on the board. We were happy with the improvement we saw and began to focus on the upcoming big tournament.
November 2, 2019
Home - Indian Mountain Tournament
This past weekend we had a perfect day, for some good soccer, at the Indian Mountain School tournament. Although we did not get the results we wanted, the girls did not give up and gave it their all. Our first two games were the toughest, but with a little rest, the girls finished the last two games strong. We had some amazing opportunities and some beautiful combinations that a coach dreams to see. It truly is great to see how far these girls have come since day 1.
November 6, 2019
Away - Miss Porters
In the last game of the season, the girls' soccer team traveled to Miss Porters. We played them during Fall Family Weekend and tied, so we knew that it would be a great game to finish the season. It was cold, and we only had a few minutes to warm up. As soon as the game started, both teams were making good runs up the field on offense. Rectory's passes were connecting, and the girls' were communicating well on the field. The defense was up against two fast forwards from Miss Porters, so working together and talking was a must. Our 9th-grade center backs Grace Z., and Jennifer H. stepped up and played one of their best games together. Their ability to judge the ball and step up at the right time saved Rectory from a lot of dangerous situations in their defensive part of the field. Grace was also able to help a little more on offense. As the game went on, Rectory players seemed to have broken down a few times, and each time that happened, Miss Porters capitalized and scored. This season taught the girls a lot about growing and working on the little things to progress at the bigger things. At the end of the game, the team ran out to greet their goalkeeper, and all you saw were smiles, hugs, and a few happy tears. As coaches, no matter what the record is, those are the winning moments. Seeing friendships created and become ones will last far beyond Rectory is always a victory as a coach. Congratulations to Grace Z., Jennifer H., Chloe L., Taylor L., Audrey M., Aitanna C. D., and Ximena G.P. on a great season! We will miss them but wish them the best of luck! To the rest of the girls' we can't wait to see them next soccer season! To all the girls we wish them the best in their next sport season at Rectory and will be there cheering them on!
Varsity Girls Volleyball
November 5, 2019
Away - Eaglehill
The Varsity Volleyball team practiced even harder after Fall Family Weekend because we wanted to win more games before the end of this season. We worked hard on talking on the court, passing the ball to the setter, overhand and underhand serving, and hitting. Our hard work paid off. We won three out of four games, and the game against Pomfret was a close loss.
Overall, the varsity volleyball girls had a fantastic season, and they enjoyed practice almost every day. They learned from the games and showed strong sportsmanship. All of them have improved a lot on their volleyball skills, especially our 9th graders who would try to make the high school varsity team next year. Big shoutout to our captains Fiona J. and Mary T, who helped the coaches and players during practice and cheered for everyone during the games. Several girls, including Jojo L., Celina Z., Julianne J., Lucia H., and Brianna L., improved their serving skills and helped the team win many points during the games. Fanny S. always relaxed during the games and set tons of great balls to our hitters. Her serves that were just above the net also shocked our opponents many times. Our group of hitters, including Julia Z., Jojo L., Celina Z., Nala C., also have become stronger. Other players, including Lucy Z., Giana B., Lucia S., Umu D., Sarah J. have improved their basic volleyball skills and contributed to the team.
Big thanks to all the Rectory teachers and students who came to support our home games and cheered for our girls. We look forward to a better season next year.
JV Girls Volleyball
November 7, 2019
Away- Park School
The Junior Varsity Volleyball team traveled to Park School for their LAST game of the season. The girls were extremely excited for this game for two main reasons: one – it was postponed last week and two – they were just enthusiastic about playing! As we started our commute to Boston, it began to rain – however, that did not stop the girls from being giddy and having fun on the bus. When we got to Park School, we spent some time warming up and realized their ceilings had a lot of low hanging obstructions; therefore, many of our girls had to change up their serving. Our first game starters were: Livie C., Alex L., Moran L., Gina Z., Paige G., and Sooyeong P. Congrats to Paige G. who has truly perfected her overhand serve and Alex L. for going on a multiple point streak with her incredible serving. Our first game was a true battle, so very close, but Park School pulled off the W. Our second game starters were: Maggie B., Chaemin L., Ashley F., Lauria L., Kaitlyn Y., and Ellie B-K. These girls battled really hard. Congrats to Lauria L. and Chaemin L. for getting down low to lift up the balls on some really hard overhand serves. Overall, Rectory gave it their all but came up a little short today. Coach and I are so proud of you, ladies; your confidence and skills have grown tremendously this season!
The final few weeks of Rectory CrossFit have been wonderful. Pleased with their efforts and attention to strong movement mechanics, Coach Mischak "upped-the-ante" in the final few weeks by challenging our athletes with some particularly difficult workouts. In CrossFit, it is not always the number of reps, weight, or duration of a workout that makes it challenging. Often times, it's the workouts that require a strong mental game that challenge us the most. Many of the workouts in the final few weeks did exactly that; they challenged our athletes to dig deep and to encourage their fellow teammates to persevere. Our crew rose to the challenge. They pushed themselves, and each other, and finished each workout proud of their efforts. There was no shortage of high-fives and cheers following each practice.
Coach Mischak, Ames, and I could not be more proud of this group of young athletes. They arrived each day eager to move, eager to have fun, and eager to encourage each other to push themselves to get better. We're thrilled to have worked with them this fall and cannot wait to see their mental and physical efforts in the CrossFit gym transfer into their work on the court, rink, or pool this winter.
Fall adventures are ending the season on a strong note. The team has really come together to trust each other and work with one another. We continued our walks, finally getting to take longer ones as the bugs became less of an issue, and we continued the games with an emphasis on teamwork. As the season comes to an end, the coaches will miss the group but are excited about their opportunities in the next two seasons and know they will thrive.
In a variety of lesson models, including all together as a team, smaller divided groups, and individual instruction, the girls have been working on improving riding techniques, especially focusing on skills at the trot. This includes steering through dressage formations, transitioning into and out of the trot, and maintaining correct posture while posting. Although the schedule has been a bit rocky, the girls are seeing improvement in both skills and confidence as we continue the equestrian season.
For Fall Family Weekend, the girls did a mock lesson to show the gathered parents what they've been working on, from getting the horses ready to riding, and we had delicious, delicious chocolate cake. It has been a fun season. When the opportunity was there for them to learn and grow their relationship with their horses and to become more comfortable with riding, they took it!