This past Tuesday evening, Forbes and Wilson College faced off in the Men’s A intramural soccer semifinals. Both teams had a lot of honor to defend — Wilson for its infamously ugly architecture, and Forbes for its location beyond the periphery of Princeton University. Additionally, both teams were eager to prove their worthiness after the notorious 1901 Hall incident of 2010, which, as this reporter was informed, was so ugly it can’t even be mentioned.
I showed up to the football stadium early, ready to interview players, coaches and fans. After wandering around desperately, I managed to find a beefy jock who informed me disdainfully that IM soccer was most likely being played on Poe Field and that this stadium was reserved for “real football.”
Having finally found the field and located a motley assortment of brightly uniformed individuals who I was told were the players, it was time for some pre-game interviews. Despite a small fan turnout that included one apathetic sunbather, an old man who looked lost, two squirrels and me, the teams were excited for the match. “Nothing captures all the excitement and ahhhhhhhhhhhhh that is IM soccer,” A.J. Ohiwerei ’17, Wilson defender, said Tuesday night. “Youknowwegotit. One word,” Forbes’ Captain Kabo Kula ’16 said.
And Forbes did start out strong, dictating the first half, despite a few field goals by the goal-making-magic-man of Wilson, Eric Principato ’16. The Red F’s brought their fire, ferocity and flamboyance — visible shivers could be seen on the Wilson sideline. However, after 13 minutes and 54.55 seconds, Bode Adunbarin ’16 of Wilson somehow managed to squeeze a goal between the Forbes goalposts. The grade was now 1-0. Infuriated, Forbes roared a battle cry and began to flatten players left and right in their rush en masse (because Forbesians do everything together) toward the Wilson end of the green. Wilson wavered under the onslaught but fought on, and the humid air was filled with the sounds of panting, as sweat, spit and insults flew with such ferocity that my squirrel-friends were scared off. After numerous more attempts at goals by both sides, Principato made a juggling play that looked somewhat like hacky-sack with a soccer ball, nabbed a breakaway through the infield and managed to score a second touchdown for Wilson with only two minutes to go in the first half. Andrew Ward ’15, proud possessor of the coveted 3-year-member sticker, described his teammate's point as “pretty.”
At half-time, both teams converged for pep-talks. The Wilson side was rather quiet, both because its captain Max Kaplan ’16 was injured and hadn’t shown up and because its other leader, normally gregarious Kojo Quaye ’14, explained “I do all my talking on the field.” Forbes, however, had an energetic pep talk, which included sage advice from Kula: “We just need to score.”
In any case, Forbes entered the second half with even more muscle and dynamism, firing balls at that net-cage-thing in the 22nd and 23rd minutes of the game. Wilson retaliated with a shot in the 25th minute which flew wide of the mark. In the 26th minute Forbes again had a breakaway, and the team finally managed to sink a goal in the net as Steffen Seitz ’17 scored. The score was now 1-1. The smell of desperation and intensity wafted out toward Wilcox dining hall, confusing hungry diners. Roaring with anger, Wilson devised a 14-point game plan, which included measures such as “bring on the war,” “greater use of arms” and “readjustment of the borders.”
Wilson got in its groove again in the 30th minute, at which point this reporter was jumping up and down on the sidelines, both out of excitement and desperation for warmth. The ball was again delivered straight into the Forbesian mesh by Principato. While Forbes continued to play hard, pressuring the Wilson guard with another 10, or maybe 52 shots — at this point I was borrowing the old man’s glasses to try to see the ball better — they failed to make it back to home plate and tally another point. Wilson took the series with a 2-1 finish.
The inning ended with complicated handshakes and a great deal of back-slapping and Forbes generously wished Wilson the best of luck in its upcoming finals match against FC One Pound Fish. Confident Wilson pointer Adunbarin, upon hearing his next opponent, said “One Pound Fish? Oh man, we got this in the BAG.” I courteously corrected him, reminding him that both in fishing and lacrosse — wait, I mean soccer — what counts is getting things in the net.