A 1-1 tie between the John Rennie Tigers and Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School Trojans juvenile boys teams was a fitting result for the first official soccer game played on a new pitch.

John Rennie principal Cristina Pratta cut the ribbon to open the multipurpose field at PCHS last Tuesday. The pregame ceremony marked the culmination of the project Pratta helped realize when she was the Pierrefonds high school’s principal.

“Last year was kind of hard for us, we lost all our games,” Trojans goalkeeper Jakob Abbott said. “And this year, just to get a tie to start off with, it’s a good feeling for us just to push on and maybe get more wins, and maybe even a championship for our team.”

Abbott came up with a crucial save to preserve the tie after PCHS scored the tying goal in the second half. The Trojans are benefitting from the influx of students resulting from the merger with Riverdale. “I think there’s definitely a lot of positive energy in the school with having so many extra kids and extra sports, the competition has gone up,” PCHS coach Angela Crosbie said. “The competition has gone up but the kids are really enjoying having each other and having that sort of new challenge of different people, as well as having different teachers and different opportunities. So I don’t think the merger has done anything but make a stronger and better community.” John Rennie played the entire game with 11 players.

“We were short some subs so it was a bit tough,” Tigers coach Costa Kalafatidis said. “We had nobody on the bench but the guys played really well. They were communicating, which is good. And we had the upper hand, I think. By the end, obviously, they got tired playing a full game with no subs, no rotations, but they did really well. We managed to keep good defense. The team did great.” Jeremy Nicolisi scored in the first half to give John Rennie a 1-0 lead.

“It was a very intense game and we did our best to keep up, knowing that we were just 11 on the field,” Tigers midfielder Alex Di Ioia said. “And we tried our best, we paced our energy. We saved it because we know it would be intense at the end if we ever conceded, which happened. So we kept our energy stable throughout the whole game.”

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