The Brahma boys were out with a vengeance again as they battled Warren, the non-season opponent who’d beat them in the past. They played their first game without senior Parish Cardenas, who “perished” last game from a very serious ankle break – and the team wanted to make him proud.
The first half was relatively uneventful – barring a few red cards to Warren players and the trademark fancy footwork from freshman Zengwei Tong – until junior Jon McLeod gave the team some momentum with a score in the last ten minutes.
“Coach told us to keep applying pressure and come out quick, so that they wouldn’t get any momentum with the start of the new half,” senior captain Jesse Montagna said.
As the second half began, the score board read Mac 1 – Warren 0 and attributed to Mac 3 shots on goal and 2 saves by goal keep, senior Brandon Pinkerton. Inspired and stimulated by their halftime talk, the boys quickly took the ball into Warren’s half of the field, and an assist by Tong to freshman Kye Morawietz forced the goalie out, allowing Morawietz to shoot the ball into the right side of the goal for the second score of the game.
But the offense wasn’t the Brahma’s only strength; the defense held strong against every attempt from Warren. Led by Pinkerton’s 6 saves, including what’s been dubbed “the sushi roll” save, the boys covered all of their bases as junior Harley Hill shut down a shot on goal with a header, and senior Justin Myers sprinted from left wing defense to the right, to cover for Jesse Montagna and get the ball out of the danger zone.
Back on the other side of the field, Warren fouled Morawietz and Tong was set to take the free kick. Amid the crowd’s cheers of “Zengwei! Zengwei! Zengwei!,” Tong took a steadying breath and shot an intense curve ball, scoring the last goal of the night. Celebration spread across the field and into the crowd, and the boys held the score for the remaining 20 minutes of the game. Then Final scoreboard read Mac 3 – Warren 0; the boys had 8 shots on goal and 6 saves, to Warren’s 6 and 6 respectively. The last game of the preseason was Tuesday, Jan. 31, and the boys begin their season the Friday – vs Johnson.