Baba Kallie's 35th-minute goal was the difference as Hill defeated Northwood School 1-0 at the Main Line College Jamboree.
Beginning with the addition of perennial national power St. Benedict’s School to its schedule in 2011, varsity boys’ soccer head coach Chris Drowne ’89 has gradually sought to increase the difficulty of the team’s early season schedule with the goal of preparing the team well for Mid-Atlantic Prep League play in October and the Pennsylvania Independent School state playoffs in November. His rationale is that, for Hill to be the best – the Blues have a MAPL-leading eight league crowns and PAISAA-best three state titles – the team needs to play a challenging lineup in September, an idea that is echoed by Hill’s players.
On Sunday, September 15, Hill traveled to United Training Center in Downingtown, Pa. to take on Northwood School, the preseason ranked number-two Prep team in the nation, in the Main Line College Jamboree Showcase. The match, labeled as the event’s Feature Match by the nearly 150 college coaches in attendance, was Hill’s third against a top-five nationally ranked side in an eight-day span.
After 80 minutes of soccer, the final whistle blew to conclude a well-played 1-0 victory for Hill.
“We played an incredibly complete match in all facets of the game,” Drowne said. “At all 11 positions, our work rate from every player who entered the match was at a maximum level and we were completely in sync.”
Baba Kallie ’20 finished a pass from Noah Toole ’22 in the 35th minute to provide all the scoring Hill needed on the day. Boosted by the return of outside back Ryan Woolley ’22, Hill’s backline of Woolley, Jordan Samuels ’22, Zach Barrett ’20, and Caleb Gerdeman ’21 limited Northwood to just six shots on frame. Goalkeepers Blake Groff ’22 and Michael Wong ’20 each played one half to combine for the clean sheet.
Following a much-needed five-day break between matches, Hill’s daunting September schedule continues with three matches against Inter-Ac sides Episcopal Academy, Haverford, and two-time defending PAISAA champion Springside Chestnut Hill Academy between September 20 - 28.