Though only an hour bus ride south, the Bears started the game against Taft without the necessary hunger and grit to compete against a talented team. Taft was able to put pressure on the Bears early and forced our back line of Connor Shalleck '16, Henry Manley '15, Andre Bogdanovic '15 and Jack Weeden '17 to play some great defense. They did so with impressive consistency but the onslaught continued and the Bears gave up an early goal to give Taft a 1-0 lead. The goal, however, was the impetus for the Bears to wake from their slumber. The remainder of the first half highlighted great possession by the Bears, impressive one-two combinations down the wing, and good aggressive attacking play. Striker Juan Cedeno '17 had a great opportunity within the six-yard box but just couldn't get his shot off before being surrounded by Taft players. Our best opportunity of the half came within five minutes of halftime. Winger Jared Renzi '16 played a ball back to Connor who hit a great ball in just beyond the penalty spot. Hunter Reynolds '16 made a great attacking run and headed the ball into the back of the net. The Bears went wild but the ref called the goal back due to a foul on the play. It was one of our best looking almost goals this season.
The Bears entered the second half eager to capitalize on possession. Center midfielder Pete Warsinske '14 made some good decisions on the ball and kept the Taft defense moving from side to side. The movement forced some openings on the wings and striker Chris Zaffanella '15 was able to play a ball in behind the defense and make a hard run at goal. To Taft's credit, their defense never gave up and they were able to intercept Chris just before he was able to get a left-footed shot off. The ball ricocheted out for a corner. Zaffanella hit a hard cross into the box that bobbled around inside the six yard box before being struck by winger Josiah Tolvo '16. It was redirected by Pete for the game-tying goal. The Bears continued to pressure but to no avail and the score remained 1-1. Both Henry Thomas '16 and Liam Thor '17 had good games in net.
It was a well-contested match. Thanks to the Giminez-Valdez family for the donuts and to all the parents who were able to come and support. We play Suffield at home next.