From November 4 -6, the U19 Boys Football team participated in the SEASAC football tournament hosted by UWCSEA Dover.
Going into the competition, the team was very optimistic of doing well after an impressive victory in the Dragon’s Invitational Tournament and were looking to use that momentum to guide them to a home victory. However despite the positivity of the team, they unfortunately started off on the wrong foot by losing 8-2 to their rivals East.
Although the start was disappointing the team got together and were able to galvanize themselves against the typically very tough NIST team. In front of a packed crowd during lunchtime, the Dover community cheered the team in a must-win game, helping significantly as the Boys produced one of their finest performances, defeating NIST 7-1, including 4 goals off the bench from Rory Anderson.
This remarkable response to such a horrible start gave them hope that they could continue to play such fantastic football. Yet their final match of Day 1 was against the very strong CDNIS and it was a closely contested battle that UWCSEA Dover lost 6-5.
Going into Day 2, the boys knew they needed to get at least one win to qualify to the semifinals, and made sure that they got it immediately as they won comfortably against BPS in the first match of the day 5-2. Even though they lost their final group game 3-0 against a tough TTS side the UWCSEA Dover team qualified for the semi-finals after finishing 4th in the group stage.
Due to finishing 4th, they had a difficult semi-finals against CDNIS, who topped the group stage after going undefeated. After their first meeting finishing with barely anything between the teams, the boys looked to produce a similar performance, except this time, to end with a win to show for their efforts. The semi-final was even more intense and the magnitude of the occasion gave our team the motivation to play some brilliant football. Although the Phoenix Boys dominated for long periods of the game, CDNIS edged the game 2-1 and advanced to the finals.
After such a disheartening loss the team could have easily put their heads down but they knew they still had to play TTS for 3rd place on the final day. Not wanting to go empty handed at home, UWCSEA Dover played with 100% effort but the former champions were simply too good as they took the bronze medal, winning 5-2.
Despite the disappointment there were still some bright spots in this competition. Special mention to Ties Van Rijn (G10), who capped off an excellent SEASAC by winning the MVP award for the team. Secondly we would to thank the five Grade 12s; Alec Pizzo, Dirk Van Rijn, Enitan Adetona, Lucas Merlino and Rick Aarnoudse for their great performances in their final SEASAC. Lastly it is important to mention that without the Sports Council, staff members at our school and the abundance of support the UWCSEA community provide, this event would not have been as fantastic as it was.
Even though the boys came 4th and did not win a medal they still had a wonderful season and have a lot to look forward to, as we have a very youthful team with a number of Grade 10s and 11s who will return next year with even more experience.
The squad list:
Jun Jang (G11), Lucas Merlino (Grade 12), Dirk Van Rijn (Grade 12), Aidan Gamble (G11), Ties Van Rijn (Grade 10), Rory Anderson (G11), Enitan Adetona (G12), Rick Aarnoudse (G12), Alec Pizzo (G12), Udayveer Singh (G11), Jonas Lund (G10), Kyu Takeda (G10)