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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

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Benjamin Varsity Boys’ Soccer Loses Regional Semifinal against Oxbridge; Gets Knocked Out of Playoffs

%28Left+to+right%29+Cian+Hoban%2C+Senior+Shaun+Umar%2C+and+freshman+Jake+Giovani+get+ready+for+a+corner+kick+in+the+Bucs+Regional+Semifinal+loss+to+Oxbridge.
Haley Roth
(Left to right) Cian Hoban, Senior Shaun Umar, and freshman Jake Giovani get ready for a corner kick in the Bucs Regional Semifinal loss to Oxbridge.

On Feb. 9 at the Benjamin Upper School’s Theofilos Field, the Varsity Boys Soccer Team played against Oxbridge for the Regional Semifinal game. With this season’s history of a 2-2 tie and then a 5-2 win only a few weeks ago, the Bucs left this game in a different headspace after losing 1-0. 

Many attribute the unexpected loss to the multiple starters on the team. Players Maddox Hoffman, Sean Sheehan, and Dillon Hoban, were all injured for this game leaving the team without three experienced junior players to help on the field. 

“I think losing Maddox, Sean, and Hoban, really hurt our team because they are some of our key players. Without them, it was hard to create attacking and defensive plays and I think that if we had them the game would have gone a little cleaner and we would have had more opportunities to score goals,” explains junior Giancarlo DiLeo. 

Besides the loss of these players, with an offsides attempt at goal from Benjamin, Oxbridge was able to switch the field and bring the ball closer to their goal. On the other hand, there were several fair shots on the Oxbridge goal from Benjamin, specifically juniors Ford Cash and Gavin Gelinas, however, they were not successful. 

At halftime, the score of the Regional Semifinal game was still 0-0, with Benjamin and Oxbridge having almost equal possession and attempted goals. Many of the younger team members had to step up and play in the first half, which continued into the second half.

Eventually, Thunderwolf Julian Dorsey was able to score a goal on Senior Luca Balzano. This Oxbridge possession continued throughout the third quarter, but Benjamin still attempted to make plays and regain control. Sophomore Alex Perkins as well as other underclassmen were also put into the game early in the second half. 

The second half of the game got a bit more physical, with two yellow being given out. The first was given to the Oxbridge bench due to an interference by one of the non-playing team members. The second yellow card was given to Sophomore Alex Perkins, but he was eventually put back in. 

Perkins shares his views on the game overall, “I don’t think we played at our best because we thought it would be easier to win after winning against them last game. It felt bad to not be able to beat them again.” 

The Benjamin team was not discouraged by these penalties, as they had many more attempted goals. All of these goals were saved by the Oxbridge goalie, Remi Dorsey. After a tense second half, Benjamin ended up losing 1-0 to Obxbridge. This defeat knocked them out of the chance to go to Regional Finals or States. 

Junior Maddox Hoffman explains why he thinks the team lost, “We didn’t have the ability to transition from midfield to attack and hence couldn’t create many chances to score goals.”  

Although the game ended sadly, the student and parent sections were both very full. The entire Benjamin community was there to support the Boy’s Varsity Soccer Team through signs, cheers, and more. 

“The overall vibe of the game was at first very exciting, but eventually it was very tense and everyone was on the edge of their seats. The student section was packed for both schools. It was a lot of screaming, noise, and lots of school spirit. We were encouraging the team to win,” shared Sophomore Lila Cooper, who was in the Benjamin student section. 

As the season is now over for the Buccaneers, the boys are ready to work hard and make plans for 2025. They are all excited to get the chance to redeem themselves in the playoffs next year.

“I think we still have a strong group of players and will be able to make a nice run into the playoffs. I’m looking forward to my last year with the team,” shared Hoffman. 

Junior Giancarlo DiLeo also has many goals for the 2025 season, “I hope we make it to states, and win states. I hope we’re able to recover from the seniors lost and maybe gain some people, or have some people step up, including myself. I want to further our high school soccer careers.”

While the Regional Semifinals may not have ended the way the Buccaneers wanted, the team as a whole tried their best to recover from all of the injuries. Unfortunately, it was too late in the season for the team to adjust completely to this new starting lineup, and Oxbridge was able to win. 

The team will continue to train and improve, hopefully making it further into playoffs next year.   

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About the Contributor
Haley Roth, Associate Editor
Haley Roth is a sophomore at The Benjamin School, and is a second-year staff writer for The Pharcyde. Haley has attended the Benjamin School since kindergarten. She enjoys going to the beach and spending time with friends. Haley enjoys writing for The Pharcyde as she gets to be more involved with the Benjamin community.

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