The Beta Gamma Delta Patriots defeated the Alpha Theta Pi Razorbacks on Nov. 23 to claim their sixth straight Turkey Bowl victory. Fans gathered at the Turkey Bowl to celebrate soccer, Thanksgiving and the fall season with live music, giveaways and a pie-eating contest.
Alpha, the pregame favorite with a record of 7-0-1, was unable to dethrone the reigning champions, who had a record of 6-0-3. The Patriots relied on their experience and strong physical play to overpower the speed of Alpha’s potent offense.
Junior Tommy Sims struck first for Alpha by driving a 28-yard free kick past Beta’s goalkeeper 16 minutes into the game. But one minute later, Beta senior Will Edwards set up freshman teammate Nathan Ennis for a goal, tying the score at 1-1.
Beta came close to taking the lead before halftime when Alpha’s sophomore goalie Spencer Pagliuca came out of the box to intercept a through ball. Beta senior Caleb Franco beat him to the ball, however, and Beta was able to get a shot on goal before Pagliuca could return to his line. The Alpha back line was able to clear the ball in Pagliuca’s absence and saved the tie before the break.
Alpha had the first close call of the second half, as freshman Rudy Sims found himself one-on-one with Beta’s goalkeeper. But Sims missed the opportunity, bombing a shot far above the crossbar.
The winning goal came 12 minutes into the second half, as Beta forward Ennis was tackled inside the box. He buried the resulting penalty kick, giving Beta the 2-1 lead and the eventual victory.
The Razorbacks had one last opportunity shortly after the penalty kick with a near one-on-one opportunity deep in Beta territory, but sophomore defender Dillon Doran cleared the ball to help save Beta’s lead and sixth consecutive undefeated season.