Mustang boys varsity soccer met their match on the turf during their 2020 home opener against the faculty. Head coach Ugo Okolie welcomed both teams to the pitch and took a few minutes to single out seniors and praise his team for their perseverance and dedication during this unprecedented season. Attired in their spotless home blue-and-gray kit, the boys varsity players took the field against a somewhat ragtag faculty squad, some wearing puffy coats beneath pinneys of safety orange.
Though great in number and seemingly advantaged by youth and a season’s worth of training together, the ranks of the boys varsity were bolstered by three guests. On loan from the girls varsity team, Jalia Musah ’21, Kaitlin Bressette ’21, and Amber Hatfield ’21 supplemented the boys’ side.
So, it was unexpected that the faculty struck first in the early minutes as Luke Westman bested varsity keeper Alec Enchill ’23, in what was to be a closely-played contest throughout. Net-minding for the faculty in the first half, starting goalie Eli Stowe ’22 saw little action. The faculty squad continued to apply pressure, working their system and notching several goals. Adding to the unusual tenor of the match, Coach Okolie played on the faculty side, showing his players that, while he may have taught them everything they know, he did not teach them everything he knows. As the first half concluded, it was clear that efficient footwork and precise passing would be both the hallmark and the saving grace of the faculty team.
Following a goalkeeper swap, the second half got underway with a notable sense of urgency on the varsity side. Crisp passing and young legs led to several goals and an eventual tying of the score. Knotted at 4-4, the action was end-to-end throughout the 60-minute match. When the final buzzer sounded, elbow bumps took the place of high-fives—a concession to the times in which we live. As has become tradition this term at Millbrook, the participants then strolled together to the athletic center for an inter-squad barbecue.