Stern Goes Out Kicking
Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 13:05
On Friday, April 30th, The Stern MBA Soccer Team traveled to Hanover, NH, to participate in the 2011 MBA World Cup, hosted by Dartmouth Tuck School of Business. Twenty business school teams participated in this tournament. This year, the Stern team was the defending champion of the MBA World Cup. The team played a total of six matches over the weekend and made it all the way to the semifinals.
The Stern team opened its MBA World Cup 2011 campaign by shocking London Business School with a rude welcoming - a spectacular come-from-behind victory. Stern went undefeated through the group stage in the first day of the tournament. On the second day, the team defeated Chicago Booth in the quarterfinals to move into the final four, before losing 0-2 to Northwestern Kellogg.
Day 1: Saturday, April 30th (group stage)
8:30 a.m.: Stern vs. London Business School (3-2, Stern)
The team got off to a nightmare start as an LBS long ball from the left corner drifted into the box between Stern defenders and found a well-positioned striker, who softly tapped the ball past the goalkeeper. LBS took the lead within the first minute of the match. Stern gradually woke up and slowly got to grips in midfield. Before the end of first half, Chris Feige and Miguel Walker scored in succession to give Stern a 2-1 advantage going into half time.
At the beginning of the second half, the team doubled its lead when Matt Blanco capitalized on an LBS defensive mistake and beat the keeper with a low shot. LBS would score its second goal late in the regulation, but ultimately failed to find the third. The final score was 3-2 and Stern earned its first victory in the tournament.
10:30 a.m.: Stern vs. Babson (2 -2, tied)
In the second match, Stern reunited with Babson. In the previous meeting at the Texas McCombs Winter Classic tournament back in February, the fixture finished in a disappointing 2-2 tie. This re-match was no different. Babson opened account within the first few minutes of play with a long-range shot fired from outside the box into the roof of the net. Stern grabbed two goals on either half through Matt Blanco and Matt Warshay. The 2-1 lead lasted only fifteen minutes before Babson scored again with a well-taken free kick from the edge of the box.
12:30 p.m.: Stern vs. Rochester Simon (1 -1, tied)
The team opened the third match of the day in a typical Stern fashion and conceded a goal within the first three minutes. Stern was down 0-1 throughout most of the regulation. It was a difficult match as Rochester defense was diligent and always quick to close down any attackers that got near the box. Midway through the second half, Stern had a penalty kick appeal turned down after Brett Stassfurth was held in the box by a Rochester defender. Through persistence and perseverance, Stern was able to crack Rochester defense in the dying minute of the match. A Stern corner kick was cleared into the path of Matt Warshay who blasted home the crucial equalizer and earned the deserved 1-1 tie.
4:30 p.m.: Stern vs. Dartmouth Tuck
(7 – 0, Stern)
Stern has finally learned to not allow an early goal. The team cruised through this last match of the day against the home team and successfully sealed a spot in the quarterfinals (single-elimination stage). The final score of this match may have been 6-0 or 8-0. Even the referee lost count half way through the second half.
Day 2: Sunday, May 1st
8:30 a.m.: Quarterfinals - Stern vs. Chicago Booth (0-0, tied; 5-4 Stern, shootout)
Stern has never faced Chicago Booth in any MBA soccer tournament before. Up against an unfamiliar opponent, the team played very a strong defensive game from the first whistle. Although Chicago was able to connect passes through the midfield and earn several corner kicks, they never looked likely to score. Stern created a few chances through crosses from the wings but ultimately could not find the net. The fixture ended in a 0-0 tie and went to a penalty shootout.
10:00 a.m.: Semifinals - Stern vs. Northwestern Kellogg (0 -2, Kellogg)
Kellogg was tactical and well-organized. On the field, they were cohesive and accurate on their passes. Throughout this tournament, Stern had been fortunate to get away unpunished with several defensive mistakes. This time, the opponents were talented and unforgiving. Kellogg capitalized on two early chances in the first half and took a quick two-goal lead before Stern was able to adapt to the higher level of play. In the beginning of the second half, Stern had a few dangerous-looking chances in the box, but failed to capitalize on those opportunities, which could have turned the momentum of the match. Kellogg continued to play a fantastic game and terrorized the Stern defense from side to side and around the edge of the penalty box. The Stern squad fought hard and chased down every loose ball, but never found the creative spark to break through Kellogg's solid defense.
The final score was 0-2 and Kellogg went on to defeat Columbia in the final to win the tournament. All in all, it was a successful tournament for Stern. Congratulations, MBA2s, on going out with a BANG.