After righting the ship last Wednesday at Tilton, Proctor was waiting and focused for our rematch at Holderness to end our season. As part of Proctor’s long-standing rivalry with our fellow Lakes Region school Holderness, all sports teams faced off today with each team earning a point for a win toward the trophy. It was close as we headed into the last two games, the boys' & girls' varsity soccer teams playing under the lights with both schools massed and vocal on the sidelines.
Our squad had not forgotten squandering a two-goal lead when we met two weeks ago; we badly wanted to go out victorious for our seniors and do our part to bring the trophy back to Andover.
So the game began and just 13 minutes in, Man of the Match Oz Atwood (’23, 2 goals & 1 assist on the day) worked in front of the Bulls' goal & somehow slid the ball to striker Jackson Etheridge (’24) who fired it into the right corner. The Hornet nation roared and we were on our way. But Holderness had other plans and 3 minutes later, a lone striker surprised our D & struck a low, hard shot from about 25 yards out to tie the game. Proctor continued to have more time of possession and our chances of a halftime lead soared then sunk with a missed penalty kick.
Feeling good about our effort & play, we regrouped, embraced the challenge, & our fortunes changed just three minutes into the 2nd frame as Ciaran Britton (’22) looked up while on the attack and played a perfectly weighted through ball that our 'assist machine' Reed Martin (’22) ran onto and crossed to the foot of Atwood who crushed the go-ahead & game-winner into the Bulls' twine. A deep rumble & shouts of glee went up on the sideline as our fans felt the game shift.
At the 60 minute mark, striker Will Hotz (’24) battled for a loose ball outside the Bulls' box and pushed it ahead to the foot of Atwood to the left of goal. With a defender crowding him and from a bad angle, he hit a slicing, curling outside of the foot shot that froze the goalie and settled into the side netting. Cue more pandemonium.
The swarm was not finished and in the 80th minute we had more of Oz as he corralled a chip right on the end line and crossed the biscuit across the goalmouth where Thomas ‘big T’ Berger (’25) cooly cut in front of his defender and tapped in another. He sprinted to midfield (faster than we've ever seen him run) while whipping the hive into further frenzy. In the 85th minute, our two-star man of the match Pape Diop (’22), who had controlled so much of the game at midfield after a frustrating season of injury, cooly struck home the final goal of the game and had his moment to soak in three years of cheers on the last night of his Proctor career.
The seniors got to finish their season with smiles and a huge team accomplishment. Kudos to captains Tate Matte, Pape, and Trey Chickering for their leadership and being such great guys to be around. Aidan Botti, Wes Koziol, Ciaran, our glittering goalie Nick Flanigan, George Hildner, Slater Whitehead, and Reed - we sure will miss you.