The Cabot Panthers played Pulaski Academy to a 1-1 tie in soccer last week.
It was an interesting contrast in styles. Pulaski Academy played a very direct, counter-attack game based on compact defensive organization and limiting individual mistakes, while Cabot plays a possession oriented game, based on ball retention and creating space.
The Bruins scored a first half goal following an inexplicable mistake by sophomore goalkeeper Jack Whisker, who came forward to collect a through ball only to run allow it to run right by him and allow a Bruins player to kick the ball into an empty net.
Cabot kept possession well and created multiple opportunities in the first half but failed to score. The second half Cabot possession game continued to wear Pulaski Academy down and their sporadic attacks became less frequent. Cabot scored a goal that began with possession deep in their own half that continued into the Pulaski Academy half and culminated with an interchange that put Daniel Silva on goal one-on-one with the goalkeeper and driving the ball past him into the net. Pressure and chances continued to mount for Cabot as PA tired toward the end of the game.
The best movement of the game saw Cabot string multiple passes together on the edge of PA’s penalty area before sliding Jesse Hidalgo in on goal and shoot, only to be denied by a tremendous save by the Bruin goalkeeper. Pulaski Academy were able to hang on for a 1-1 tie.
"I thought it was a really interesting game in terms of contrasting styles," Cabot coach Steve Porter said. "We were hoping to keep the ball well, spread the field and wear them down. They were hoping to stay compact, play good defense and counter attack at speed. Each teams style plays into the other ones, and it became a very interesting tactical battle. They were happy for us to have the ball and attempt to take advantage of our wide spacing and any mistakes we made by counter attacking quickly; while we were happy to keep the ball and make them chase defensively, hoping to take advantage of a lapse in concentration or plain tiredness on their part."