Wakefield’s boys soccer team staved off its first Cap-8 loss with a late penalty kick to tie Millbrook 1-1.
The Wildcats (4-3-3, 1-2-1 Cap-8) came out aggressively and showed a lot of energy on defense. Though they struggled at times to finish, their lone goal came halfway through the first half.
After a poor clear by the Wakefield defense, the ball caromed to Millbrook midfielder Wrenn Pallas in the box. After resetting himself, Pallas buried the ball past goalkeeper Taha Mirmozaffari.
The second half saw better play from Wakefield (3-4-3, 2-1-2). Though the Wolverines found themselves offsides often, their persistence paid off with a run by forward Marcus Shenker-Tauris with less than five minutes left in the second half.
Shenker-Tauris earned a penalty kick for his team, and midfielder Edwin Umanzor scored the tying goal.
Both overtime periods saw chances for both sides, but fatigue and a soggy pitch lowered the pace and finesse.
Millbrook looked poised to claim its second conference win of the season late in the second half, but the penalty by Shenker-Tauris completely changed the course of the game.
Throughout the second half, Shenker-Tauris had scoring opportunities, but he couldn’t find clean looks. This time, he had the ball in the attacking third, and when he was tripped up on the edge of the box, the referee immediately signaled for the penalty.
Three who mattered
Wrenn Pallas, Millbrook: It was Pallas’ goal that gave Millbrook the early momentum that it carried throughout the first half. His goal came from a combination of poor defensive clearing and opportunistic offense.
Edwin Umanzor, Wakefield: Umanzor’s penalty kick was huge for the Wolverines to finally break through after 75 scoreless minutes. Millbrook backup goalkeeper Grafton Potter was in the game after starter Noah Davison left injured, and Umanzor went low and left as Potter dove right.
Michael Pasca, Millbrook: Pasca didn’t score in the game, but he had several opportunities. Five minutes into the game, Pasca beat two defenders and hit a low cross that ricocheted off Mirmozaffari’s hand in the box, but no Wildcats were nearby. Pasca had several other chances as the game wore on. Though none were converted, he was one of Millbrook’s top scoring threats.
Wakefield’s passing and clearing on defense led to one goal and easily could have led to more. Too often defenders and midfielders tapped the ball too lightly to teammates and Millbrook would intercept. Especially on a night with a rainy surface, more authoritative passing could be cleaned up.
Millbrook had chances throughout the game to score but only came away with one goal. The Wildcats led four corners to zero in the first half, and none led to a goal. At the end of regulation, Millbrook had caught a second wind, and Jose Garcia Ramirez had a point blank shot that was deflected by Mirmozaffari.
Millbrook will take a quick break from conference play with a home match against Mount Tabor. Wakefield, meanwhile, travels to Broughton Monday.