The Stuyvesant Schoolers headed into their first playoff game on Tuesday, November 1. The team had been struggling with several midseason injuries, but entered the game only with an almost complete team, missing only junior and centerback Matthew Hoffman. Nevertheless, senior Rolando Schneiderman replaced Hoffman, proving the versatility of the team.
“We weren’t really worried. We had a better record going in and we were confident we’d win. We expected to win,” senior and left-back William Haack said.
The high morale of the teammates was immediately evident in their playing. Senior and co-captain Krit McClean dominated from the start, taking shots on goal as early as two minutes into the game. Though McClean, junior Asa Conover, and freshman Ethan Lochner had impressive setups, they were unable to score early in the first half.
Goalkeeper junior Maxwell Berkow first saw action 20 minutes into the game. Berkow saved the shot easily, but Stuyvesant freshman and center-back Sean Fitzgerald was injured in the collision. The game resumed, and four minutes later, Conover scored the first goal of the game.
Stuyvesant scored again a mere six minutes later with an unassisted goal from the other forward, Lochner. Capitalizing on the Vikings’ goalie’s temporary weakness, he scored again minutes later.
Going into the second half, there was clear tension between the two teams as the plays got dirtier. McClean had several confrontations on the field with South Shore junior Shauneil Smith. Four minutes into the second half, Smith was awarded a foul shot, but Berkow saved it with ease.
With the team resting in a comfortable lead, coach Vincent Miller switched a couple of starters out, leaving the second half with little action. Lochner, McClean, Conover, Haack, and junior Horia Popa all took more shots, with no luck.
“We were a little bit wasteful in front of the goal,” senior and co-captain Neil Maheshwari said.
Maheshwari, who had played an integral part in the midfield the entire game, scored off a key pass from senior Jamie Oliver 15 minutes before the end of the second half, ending the game at 4-0.
Though the Schoolers dominated the match, their performance left much room for improvement. “We need to try to be a little quicker and sharper, but I mean, we played a good game,” Maheshwari said.