By Gabby Ripka
The Byram Hills Girls Varsity soccer team clearly showed that they were capable of playing in the spotlight. The anticipation of one of Byram’s first “under the lights” showdowns was definitely enough to draw a huge crowd. Some may say that the girls’ soccer game against Greeley that took place last night had the biggest turn-out in all of BHGVS’ history. When asked to comment about the atmosphere at the game, Boys’ Varsity Soccer captain, Mike Kalian said, “I really enjoyed the atmosphere with all the people and with the lights. It was a great win to kick off a hopefully successful homecoming weekend.” BHGVS definitely took full advantage of their homecoming showcase and gave Byram spectators a thrilling match to witness.
Kallie Hoffman who is in the running for Lohud player of the week was clearly a fan favorite. An early goal by the junior superstar, off an assist by senior Nicole Meyer, put the girls up 1-0 early in the first half. Byram’s momentum early on was only sparked by the energy that could be felt by anyone in the vicinity of the Byram fan section. Junior goalie, Amanda Nivasch, played a key role in the Byram win. Nivasch made many crucial plays, but arguably her best play was a save as time was running out at the end of the first half. Byram fans erupted once Nivasch gained control of this ball. When asked to comment about the fan spirit in a moment such as this one, Dylan Green, a spectator and sophomore at Byram Hills said, “It was so lively and the stands were packed. I could feel the school spirit.” There was definitely no shortage of enthusiasm at the turf this past Thursday night.
The second half of the game started off a bit slow. Mid-way into the half, the elements came into play as the rain started to pour down. Byram’s team (and fans) were only fueled by nature’s challenge. Byram’s defense led by players such as Nikki Feldman, Reese Ertel, Hannah Stern, and Talia Schuster, acted as a wall, blocking Greeley’s offense. Nivasch made some crucial saves in the second half as well that helped Byram maintain their lead. Sophomore goalie, Dylan Ertel, commented, “Our team came onto the field not knowing what the outcome would be. We scored early on which really boosted our confidence, but we definitely could have passed the ball around more. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that we got a win.” The girls’ composure never wavered in what was a nail-biter until the end. In true Byram fashion, the Bobcats pulled out a shutout win in an electric environment!