Last Monday, the Frisch girls’ varsity soccer team played Kushner in a thriller at the neutral grounds of Torah Academy of Bergen County. The teams exchanged victories when they met twice in the regular season so everyone knew the championship could go either way.
Walking into the TABC gym, one was hit with the excitement and immediate tangibility of the tensions in the room. Kushner had brought an intimidating amount of fans blowing vuvuzelas world cup style and filling more than half the gym in blue. The Cougars had the pressure of maintaining the Frisch Soccer dynasty as they were four-peat champions, going for a fifth, and knew that in the end the game will not be up to the fans but to the players on the court.
From the first moments of the game, the referees made it clear that they would not tolerate any physicality whatsoever. They blew their whistles at minor and even incidental contact unlike anything we had seen all season. Often, each team assumed, incorrectly, that the whistle was against the other team, which caused confusion on the court. It was clear that both teams needed to adjust to the unusual style of play that the referees were demanding.
Despite the clean play, Frisch was faced with a scare in one of the only quiet moments of the game when Rebecca Gellis went down hard and dislocated her knee. The crowd was in silence as coaches and medical attention came onto the court to assist. The roar of the crowd only returned as Rebecca got up on her own and walked off the court.
The game was ultimately a story of defense with Captain Nicole Feigenblum leading her team to victory in her final game as a Cougar. Early in the game it was Nicole that got Frisch on the board first with a beautiful shot to the corner from defense. It was Nicole again in the fourth quarter that provided the insurance goal that brought the team some relief and had them joyfully anticipating the buzzer. The Frisch defensive line was flawless throughout the game with goalie Liad Arussy denying Kushner at every opportunity and completing the championship shutout with a final score of 2-0 Frisch.
While the Frisch girls varsity soccer team had a rough start to the season with losses to Kushner, Bruriah, and SAR, a great deal of gratitude goes out to the coaches, Erin Mullins and Dalya Arussy, who brought the team together under the motto of “come back Frisch” and continued the Varsity Girls Dynasty as 5-peat champions.
Congratulations to the Frisch Cougars, 2014 MYHSAL Girls Varsity Champions!
By Kelly Pavel