Inside Oberlin
By Blake Wilder

Oberlin Sports are Thrilling to Watch and Write About

Last Saturday I slept a little bit late, but after throwing on some clothes and grabbing one of my housemate’s bagels on the way out the door I made it over to the athletic fields for what would turn out to be an exciting afternoon. The sun was shining bright and the temperature stayed around 69 degrees.
When I arrived, the field hockey team was already in the middle of the first half of their game against Kenyon. I stretched out in the sun on the side of Mount Oberlin to watch the action. The scoreboard read 0-0. It was immediately apparent that it was not due to lack of effort from either team as I saw a vicious battle taking place in front of me. Neither team seemed to maintain the attack as the ball changed ends numerous times making for lots of exciting breakaways and top-notch defensive plays.
Half-time soon came, but I was happy to be entertained by watching the men’s soccer team warm up for their match against Capital.
As the second half got underway I saw an excellent Oberlin side come out continuing to press the offense. Junior Jaime Johnson and senior Chaney Stewman repeatedly combined on the right flank to push the attack forward allowing the Yeowomen the opportunity to score on the other half.
But the Yeowomen weren’t the only ones on the attack; Kenyon had their fair share of breakaways. Luckily for the Yeowomen nothing seemed lacking from their defensive game. There were times when senior Christina Congelton was the last defender back to stop some of these fast attacks. My first instinct when I see situations like that is a kind of fear, but I was amazed repeatedly when Congelton intercepted the ball, sidestepped the opposition and advanced with the ball as if it was nothing.
After seeing such efforts from the team, I was filled with a nervous energy as the teams ended regulation play still at 0-0. On top of the excitement in front of my eyes, the men’s soccer team had already kicked off. I moved to the other side of the bleachers so that I could have a better view of the two games.
The Yeowomen came back out in extra-time and continued to exert pressure playing off some good through balls from senior Briana Quinn. Kenyon also managed a fair share of offensive time, though.
The roar from the packed stands in front of the soccer pitch alerted me immediately that I had missed some spectacular Oberlin goal. Probably it was the goal by junior Jesse Kipp that people were talking about at half time, and after the game, and at dinner … Apparently it was spectacular and a whole bunch of other adjectives I kept hearing, but I guess I will just have to imagine because the action was at the far end from the field hockey field.
In front of me, the field hockey game continued to go back and forth at a pace that almost made me think I was at a tennis match, but still no goals would come as another 15 minutes ticked off and the teams again took a break. I could not tear myself away, but I was torn by a deep desire not to miss any more soccer goals.
As if they were reading my mind, the Yeowomen came out and took care of business right way. In under a minute, first-year Meg Reitz put the ball in the cage, and that was that. A nail-biting game brought home in the end.
I hustled over to the soccer field only to find out that I had missed yet another goal. The score was 2-0 and half-time was not far off. I found out that senior Richard Briathwaite had scored the other goal.
I started my illustrious career with the Review my first year by covering the men’s soccer beat. I got to meet all the guys and had lots of fun doing it even when my articles sucked. In the off-season I got to kick around with the guys. Once they even let me put on the practice uniform for an off-season game (I think I played right back). I know you probably scoffed at the practice in front of uniform, but it was as close as I’ll ever get and at least it made me feel special. My play certainly wasn’t special; in fact if I remember right it was pretty bad. I think head coach Blake New was just being nice to me because we have the same first name.
Anyway, my point is that I have followed the men’s soccer team and I was more than impressed with the show I received. I feel confident in saying that I saw senior Will Singer’s best shot on Saturday when he volleyed the ball in full stride from about thirty five yards outside the box and sent it curving toward the far upper 90 only to be barely tipped away by the opposing keeper.
At halftime, the Yeomen took a convincing performance and a two goal lead going into the break. I made my way over toward the football field with high spirits from good results behind me and the positive things I had heard about the football team’s chance against Hiram.
To my disappointment, the football team was down 14-6 late in the second quarter. I watched Hiram make a very short drive and punt away and then that was half time. The marching band began to assemble for their halftime show, but I was itching to get back to the soccer game.
As the second half got underway, Capital seemed to come out with renewed vigor, and Oberlin seemed to lose the control they had shown in the first-half. The Yeomen still had opportunities, but the opposition looked more and more threatening.
Senior Donavan Williams, the super football fan, came over to visit the soccer field and led the crowd in some good OC cheers. Much to everybody’s delight, he also mused as to what kind of name was Capital. “Capital what?” he asked.
Back on the field the team was still struggling and even allowed a goal when they failed to organize for a Capital throw in. The ball may have beaten first-year Lincoln Smith on that play, but besides that his game was nothing less than stellar. On multiple occasions, he rushed all the way to the edge of his area to strip the ball from the feet of an oncoming attacker.
An air of desperation, that not even Williams could dispel, took both the field and the stands as Capital continued to press into the Oberlin penalty box. Fans were on the edge of their seats and some just had to stand as the Yeomen tried to hold on their narrow lead.
The game was full of both excitement and talent. The team subbed frequently and to their credit the level of play never seemed to drop. It was amazing to see such an adept and deep bench. The Yeomen held on to the last minute and came out on top, but the thrill never stopped.
Two wins down, so it was back to football to see if they could pull a comeback. To my delight, I returned to see the Yeomen up 20-14. To further my glee, I arrived on the scene just in time to see the Oberlin defense make an interception. On two consecutive plays, sophomore Chris Jordan managed to find a hole to run up the middle for significant gains. Then senior Chris Moffatt passed to the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Then of course Hiram got the ball back for another chance to try and catch up with the runaway Yeomen. But it was not to be. Once again, the Oberlin defense came up with an interception. On the next three plays, I thought for a second that I might be having deja vu. Two runs by Jordan and a touchdown pass from Moffatt.
Oberlin would continue to dominate, not allowing Hiram the chance to score and adding three more in the fourth quarter.
So go ahead and bad mouth Oberlin sports like you skeptics always do. It’s fun to do just like making fun of Socialists and stealing from CDS. But last Saturday not only did I see three Oberlin sports teams win, I saw three truly exciting games.
Now, perhaps you are wondering why you get to read my rants. Well, because Oberlin sports are under-appreciated andun til the athletes that work so hard get the respect they deserve, I will never sleep. Seriously, I didn’t sleep last night. Oh yeah and I get paid for this dribble. We even still have a Sports editor position availble. That’s right, we will pay you, too. E-mail for the job.

October 4
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