Wednesday, October 4, marked the final kick-off of the 2017 intramural soccer season. The two teams that advanced to the final were the Gryffindor and Berrien United teams. Berrien United secured a spot in the final with a close win against the team Why So Serie-A in a 4-3 victory. The other opposing team, Gryffindor, defeated last year’s finalist in another close game resulting in a 2-1 win.
This year’s soccer intramurals took a different approach from prior competitions; last year two cups could, one which allowed for redemption. Some of the players thought of it as a second chance for those who had “an off night” while others thought of it as unfair—players should be not be rewarded for being unsuccessful. With this year's league, however, competing for only one cup without multiple matches, the stakes seemed even higher; everything was crucial for their chance at the finals. Getting to the finals required that every team work hard, so the teams that advanced knew they were the cream of the crop. On Friday, Oct. 6, each team determined to strictly play for keeps.
With only one game left to settle the championship, the allure of the reward increased greatly with the closing of the season. Beyond the t-shirt prize, everyone knew the teams’ real motivation: bragging rights. Both teams looked invigorated, especially coming from top-level performances in the previous match. The night of the final was exhilarating. The crowd was lively, the weather was good and the atmosphere was energizing. From the moment the whistle blew, it was anyone’s game.
Unfortunately for Berrien United, they were not the first to score. They didn’t let this break their spirits, however, and they continued to fight back. Hopes looked thin for Berrien United as Gryffindor scored again to increase their lead to 2-0. After this, Berrien United had a slight chance to get back in the match, but Gryffindor scored, ultimately cementing their already-secure lead.
After Gryffindor’s goal, the score remained the same until the final whistle. Even though the ball did not touch the net for the rest of the game, goalkeepers were tested on both sides as they saved many shots. Both teams fought a hard and long 90 minutes.
As the time ticked down to the final minute, Gryffindor knew they had the upper hand. So they switched their style to a more relaxed style of play and closed out the game with leisure, thanks to their two previous moments of brilliance that led them to victory. In the end, what mattered most was who could land the best shot and protect their goalkeeper. Throughout this championship game, Gryffindor executed an excellent dynamic that resulted in their sweet victory.