2019 Rivalry Day Recap

Ken Zalis, Sports Information Director
The Quakers and Bruins squared off for the fourth annual Rivalry Day on Saturday, October 12. Despite Park winning its third consecutive Rivalry Day Cup last year, Quaker Nation came onto the Park campus fired up, ready to dominate the day, and a rivalry was reborn.
 
Things got off to a rocky start as Park jumped out to a quick lead with wins in Girls Cross Country and Tennis on Friday. Saturday morning didn’t get any better as the Boys Cross Country went down by the narrowest of margins, 26 to 31. Quaker Nation once again was on the wrong side of this rivalry down three points to none with only four contests remaining. No big deal, all we had to do was sweep the day....
 
Boys JV Soccer took the field first on a chilly Saturday morning looking to get Friends their first point and keep Quaker Nation alive for the cup. Earlier in the year the Quakes easily defeated the Bruins 4 to 1 on Deering Field, but this day always brings out the best Park has to offer. Last year, the JV team was stunned by Park at Friends with a 1-0 loss after a scoreless first half. This year, ghosts of that game had to be dancing around the Quakes minds as once again the teams were deadlocked 0 – 0 at the end of the first half. The Quakes dominated play but hit a crossbar, a post, another crossbar and another as the teams stayed scoreless for 65 minutes into the game. Then, just as it seemed the ball would refuse to find the back of the net, the pressure the Quakes had been putting on Park all game finally yielded a goal as Connor Gelata scored with 12 minutes left in the game with an assist from Lukas Monaldi-Fisher '22. You could feel the emotion on the sideline and in the stands (or maybe that was a huge sigh of relief). The goal held up as the JV Boys Soccer team did their part and gave Quaker Nation their first point and more importantly some hope that this could be done!
 
Next up was the Varsity Girls Soccer team. Up until last year, the GVS was looked at as the weak link on this day as they had lost the first two years on Rivalry Day. Last year, they finally broke through defeating Park 3 – 1 to give the Quakes hope, but it wasn’t meant to be in 2018. This year with the “baton” passed to them from the Boys JV Soccer team, a motivated squad took the field. They came flying out of the gate and quieted a loud Park fan base quickly as Paige Saudek ’22 took a rebound off the Park goalie and walked it in for a 1 – 0 lead with just under three minutes gone by in the game. Five minutes later, Paige would find the net again and the route was on, better yet you could hear a pin drop as the excited Park crowd quickly realized, they would not win the cup during this game. The Quakes continued to press the game as Sammy Mosk ’20 found the back of the net to make it 3 – 0 Quakes. Ellie Proutt ’21 nailed a header off the foot of Katie Ledakis ’21 and the Quakes led at the half 4 – 0 leaving no doubt about the outcome of this game. Laura Holt ’21 converted a PK in the second half as Friends cruised to a comfy 5 – 0 victory bringing Quaker Nation to within one point of tying up Rivalry Day 2019. The Varsity Field Hockey team was next.
 
Our Field Hockey team has “little to no hope,” (a direct quote from the Quaker Quill in their Rivalry Day preview). And let’s be honest, Friends hasn’t beaten Park in Field Hockey in at least five years, and most of those games have not been close. Also, take into consideration that less than 24 hours earlier, Oldfield upset the Quakes 1 – 0. So, it did not seem likely, but this is why you play the game. The FH team knew if they could simply score, their defense which has been stellar all year, would give them a chance. The Quakes fended off an early push by the Bruins and from the midway point of the first half truly dominated the action, but as has been their Achilles heel this season, simply couldn’t find that elusive goal. Late in the first half, the Bruins had their best chance as they sent a rebound toward the goal, and the Park faithful thought they had taken the lead. Bryce Carlin ’21, however, swept the shot away just before it entered the goal as the Quakes went to the half scoreless. Midway through the second half, the dam finally broke as the defense cleared the ball to Maren Helmacy ’20. Breaking free down the right side of the field, Maren made the goalie miss and slid a pass to Char Murray ’22 in front of the goal giving the Quakes a 1 – 0 lead. Could they hold up? Could the upset that had “little to no hope,” happen? The Bruins turned up the heat and threw everyone forward, but goalie Grace Bowen ’20 turned away every shot, then the horn sounded, and for the first time in what seemed like forever-- and certainly the first time in this rivalry series-- the Field Hockey team did it, defeating Park 1 – 0! RIVALRY DAY was all tied up at 3. The Boys Varsity Soccer team was next in a winner-take-all game.
 
Boys Varsity Soccer had been here before, as last year they'd beaten Park 2 – 1 earlier in the season, only to have Park come back on Rivalry Day and tie them to and keep the Cup in the Bruin’s den. This year once again the Quakes defeated Park 2 – 1 and now on Rivalry Day 2019, looked to bring the cup back to Charles Street for the first time after what they knew would be a close, hard-fought game.
 
(By the way, leading up to this game Park had not scored a goal all day long-- three games and three shutouts.) Let’s get started!
 
The game would go back and forth, with both sides grabbing momentum throughout the first half. The Quakes had a great opportunity within the first two minutes of the game, as Ned Forbush ’22's header was tipped over the crossbar by the Park goalie. A terrific save that seemed like a precursor to the rest of the half as neither team could find the back of the net. The teams went to the half in a scoreless tie. The second half was more the same as the Quakes fired shot after shot…corner and corner, free kick after free kick, but simply could not penetrate the very organized Bruin defense. Both fan bases felt the tension as the minutes went by, but no scoring happened in regulation and the teams headed to OVERTIME and sudden victory. The first team to score would win, but after the first OT was still scoreless, would a second, ten-minute OT finally conclude the day? What if they were still tied? Who gets the Cup? These questions popped up numerous times as the seconds counted down and no goal was in sight as the Quakes outshot the Bruins 17 to 6 and still unable to find the back of the net. With five minutes left in the game, and left in Rivalry Day 2019, there was still no winner, then with three minutes left in the second OT, the Quakes had another corner kick, this time Ned Forbush flicked the ball off his head to the back post where John Groff ’20 came flying in and volleyed the ball neatly into the top of the net! Quakes win! The CUP IS OURS!!! The student body and the fans stormed the field to celebrate. 
 
Quaker Nation did it!
 
The first victory for the Quakes in the series could turn out to be historic as Jonah Zalis ’23, Annalisa Jenkins ’22, Airianna Carter '23, Grace Bowen ’20 and Sam Whitman ’22 shut-out the Bruins! Four games and ZERO goals. If you are going to do something for the first time, do it in style and that is exactly what the Quakes did in 2019.
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