BERKSHIRE SCHOOL DEFEATS WORCESTER ACADEMY 5-1 TO WIN FOURTH NEPSAC CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP
Deerfield, Mass. (November 20, 2016) –For the fourth time in five years, the boys’ soccer program at Berkshire School has brought the Stewart Cup back home to Sheffield.
On Sunday, the second-seeded Bears finished their season by defeating top-seeded Worcester Academy 5-1 in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class A championship game at Deerfield Academy.
First year Berkshire coach Tony Mohammed—who took over the Bears (18-1) following the departure of three-time NEPSAC champion coach Jon Moodey—said his team stuck to its game plan against the Hilltoppers (16-2).
“It was really just about playing Berkshire soccer, create chances and put the ball in the back of the net,” Mohammed said.
Berkshire tallied first in the 12th minute when Jacob Shaffelberg (sophomore, Nova Scotia) fed a streaking Jeremy Richard (senior, Vermont), who found the back of the net while collapsing between two defenders.
Berkshire co-captain Quentin van der Lee (senior, New York) scored in the 19th minute off a feed from Juan Widoycovich Scagliotti (senior, Chile) to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Van der Lee followed his first score by booting a side throw in past Worcester Academy keeper Patrick Neush in the 34th minute to lift the Bears to a 3-0 lead heading into the half.
“In a championship game the first half is always going to be tight,” van der Lee said. “But for us to have the opportunity to score three [goals] early in the game was just huge.”
Shaffelburg and Ugochukwu Achara (sophomore, Nigeria) each scored second half goals for Berkshire. Worcester Academy senior Sam Hatem scored the Hilltoppers’ lone goal in the 67th minute.
The Stewart Cup is named for longtime Berkshire School soccer coach and athletic director Jackman L. Stewart. The Bears earned a spot to play for the championship trophy after defeating Taft School 1-0 in the NEPSAC tournament semifinal game. Berkshire defeated Milton Academy 2-1 in the first round.
“I was fortunate to step into a pretty amazing opportunity,” Mohammed said. “With the history that we have, the quality of players that we have, I wouldn’t say it was easy but it certainly made it easier.”