Glastonbury’s Jack Shaheen competes for the ball with Conard’s Aidan Policelli during the Guardians 2-2 tie at GHS last Thursday.
Trailing 2-1 in the 72nd minute, Glastonbury junior captain Tim McGuire headed in a corner kick from Shane Keenan to tie the game before the boys soccer teams from GHS and Conard High School settled for a 2-2 tie on Sept. 14
Head coach Chris Vozzolo said the home-opening tie was a stepping stone for his team, which was coming off a 1-0 loss to Hall in West Hartford to open the 2023 season.
“I thought we played a little better [today]. We came out on the road the other day with a little bit of nervous energy and today we looked a little more settled in,” noted Vozzolo. “We want to come out here with a better result, but it’s early in the season and we have a lot of work to do.”
Not only did the game end in a tie, but the first and second half were mirror images of one another.
In the first half, GHS senior Drew Stranko scored with an assist from Keenan and senior Chris Roberts scored for Conard.
Glastonbury out shot Conard in both frames, threatening to score early in the second half with eight shot attempts, but each shot was either saved by Conard goalie Ben Hammond or wide of the mark.
“One of the themes of the game was not being able to finish,” stated Vozzolo. “Maybe it’s about having more composure in the box or maybe it is putting a couple of more shots on frame, but we will continuously work on our finishing and hopefully later in the season we will be burying some of those chances we had.”
Senior captain Collin Martin was particularly aggressive in the second half, attempting four straight shots over a five minute time span, including one that ricocheted off the post and into the side of the net.
With nine minutes left in regulation, Conard’s senior captain Colin Scrimgeour scored on a penalty kick before McGuire bounced in his header less than a minute later to even the score again.
McGuire, Martin, and junior goalkeeper Patrick Butler are the team’s three captains, leading a team on the field that graduated four all-conference players a season ago.
Butler made a handful of saves, including a spectacular sliding save in the first half and heading away a desperation kick by Conard with less than a minute to play.
Vozzolo was hoping for a victory to counter the loss in the opener, yet was happy with his team’s effort.
“It is a little disappointing — we want to come away with a little more than just a tie, but overall we think it is a step forward with our play from the other day,” added Vozzolo.
The Guardians next travel to Hebron (today) Thursday, Sept. 21 for a match with RHAM at 3:45 p.m. before returning to GHS on Saturday, Sept. 23 to host Rocky Hill at noon.
“We are still trying to complete the puzzle with our personnel and putting the right guys on the field,” stated Vozzolo. “We’ve got a couple of things to work on going forward.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin