Berkeley Carroll's teams (cross country, volleyball, and soccer) enjoyed a successful and exciting fall season on the trails of Van Cortlandt Park, volleyball courts in four of the five boroughs, and soccer pitches from Randall's Island to Coney Island. With 114 of our upper school students choosing to participate on one of the eight teams that were fielded this past season, there was a lot of energy from August 16, when Varsity Girls Soccer left for preseason camp, through the eve of Halloween, when Varsity Volleyball faced Trinity in the NYSAIS Tournament.
Berkeley Carroll's Cross-Country teams found considerable success this fall. Veteran Coach Ms. Adler was joined by a pair of new faces, Coach Matt and Coach Miguel; this trio led many of the Lion harriers to personal bests over the course of the season. Seniors were the leaders for both the Boys and Girls teams. Zach T and Sophie A closed out their years on the team with a pair of fine performances in the ACIS Championship meet, both placing eighth in highly competitive fields. Sophie set a pace that led the girls to a second place finish overall, while the boys took home third place in the league. With a host of underclassmen who steadily cut their times this fall, the future looks bright
Both the girls and boys soccer teams produced a fall full of exciting moments and highlights. Girls Varsity Soccer benefitted from both extraordinary seniors (7) leadership and an influx of talented freshmen (5). The combination of experience and youth helped them face a demanding schedule, competing in both the ACIS and the AAIS, earning an 9-7 record overall. The team went 6—1 to place second, finishing behind only Packer (more on that later!), and made the playoffs in the ultra-competitive AAIS. It was in the playoff that the girls had their shining moment. Facing ACIS/AAIS champion Packer in the quarterfinal round, a team that they had lost (0-4) in mid-October, the Lions came out determined to avenge that previous defeat. A tenacious defense, anchored by seniors Elly H and Zoe C, and ably abetted by senior midfield play from Tess F, Claire D, and Maija F, kept Packer's top scorers in check throughout, while senior forwards Maddie E and Natalie S combined to score a beautiful goal. When 20 minutes of overtime play expired, the Lions and Pelicans were knotted at 1-1. The penalty kicks were nerve wracking, . Zoe C finally stepped to the spot with a chance to ice the game, which she did, depositing a beautiful shot past the Packer keeper. The Lions' ride finally ended in the semifinal contest against Marymount, but not until they had given the Upper East Side Lions a real battle. While the seven seniors will be missed, they have set quite an example for the returning core of 12 underclass players to follow. Boys Soccer also benefitted from BC's growing enthusiasm for the sport. The Junior Varsity Boys fielded a squad of 21 players, the most in its history, including 15 freshmen! Of course, that also made the Lions one of the youngest teams to compete in the ACIS this fall, frequently facing teams laden with 10th and 11th grade players. While the results were not always favorable, the team never stopped competing. All that hard work paid off in the season's final contest against the Tigers of SIA. Down by a 0—1 score with about 1 minutes to play, the Lions roared, tallying a pair of goals to earn a 2-1 win. The season provided valuable game experience for many players as they adjust to the pace of high school soccer. Varsity Boys Soccer enjoyed an even more rewarding season. Things did not appear so bright after the first two games, as the Lions fell to both Saint Ann's (0-1) and Packer (0-6). However, the team did not lose its faith in itself. Rallying behind its five seniors (Jake C, Matty J, Charlie W, Asher T, and Jude M), the team won 7 of its last 8 regular season games, scoring 27 goals over that span! There were several offensive highlights, including Charlie W's four goal explosion at Dwight and Danny S's five game scoring streak. The real defining moments of the season came in the final games. The Lions ended the regular season by handing Packer its first league loss (1-0). That was followed by a resounding 7-3 defeat of Saint Ann's in the ACIS semifinals, avenging a pair of early season defeats. That set the stage for a brilliant ACIS final game, pitting #2 BC against #1 Packer. Both teams played hard and well, carrying a 1-1 tie into the 72nd minute. Packer scored the go-ahead goal with only eight minutes left. BC would not quit, storming the Pelican goal and earning for corner kicks. Only some outstanding by the Packer keeper preserved their hard fought, well earned win. The team will miss its departing seniors, but with eight starters returning, there is much to look forward to in 2019!
It is fitting to close out the review of the fall with the BC Volleyball teams. What a season was had on the courts! Volleyball fever was so high that BC fielded three teams this fall for the first time ever! JV II certainly showed its mettle, earning a victory over Marymount in its first outing! JV I had an equally impressive season. The team took a little time to get started, dropping its first two matches of the season. However, they clearly had learned from those struggles. By the end of the fall season, they had rallied to finish 3rd in the ACIS (5-2), and ended in a 5 way tie for 4th in the AAIS, BC's highest finish in that league. A real highlight was a victory over a Chapin team that ultimately finished with a 7-3 league record. Last, but certainly not least, we come to Varsity Volleyball. Coach Mary and Coach Kent had a team led by a group of seven seniors (Libby T, Gaia B, Jona I, Olivia K, Helena A, Isabel B, and Sara A-M) who had invested 28 seasons in the BC program! And they closed their time with some remarkable achievements: an undefeated (7-0) record in the ACIS, earning the league championship! An AAIS campaign that earned them a spot in the playoffs in one of the most competitive leagues in New York! And a return to the NYSAIS playoffs after a 9 year absence. It was the Volleyball team that was playing when the curtain finally dropped on the fall season. They put up a valiant struggle against a very powerful, highly seeded team of Trinity Tigers, a team that made it all the way to the NYSAIS semifinals and gave the top-seeded Poly Prep all they could handle. The Lions demonstrated an ability to play well against even the strongest teams. That is quite a legacy for our departing group of seniors.
With the fall season over, it is time to say a word of thanks to all of our athletes. The demanding practices, late hours, and the efforts to meet the demands not only of the playing field bust also of the classroom and other activities, from music to yearbook, are so impressive. The entire athletic program at Berkeley Carroll is certainly better for your participation! Now, on to the winter!