Abel Hat Trick Fuels Taconic Boys to Big Win

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- For most of the first half Tuesday at Clapp Park, the Taconic boys soccer team was dominating the game in every way but on the scoreboard.
But after a timeout with about 10 minutes left in the first half, the visitors scored seven of their goals in 50 minutes en route to an 8-0 win over St. Joseph.
Ryan Abel had a hat trick in the first half, and Colin Connors had a goal and three assists to give Taconic its first win of the young season.
Abel scored the only goal Taconic would need midway through the first half off a cross from Connors from the left wing. Abel settled the ball at his feet in the middle of the 18 and fired a shot past Crusaders keeper Jack Perenick (14 saves).
But Taconic coach Mark Wasnewsky called timeout a few minutes later to fire up his team and get it to make the most of all the possession time it was earning.
"What I saw was status quo with what they were doing the last couple of games where the intensity wasn't there," Wasnewsky said. "The desire just to get that first goal and stay on them and continue to push and push.
"When you leave a team in the game, bad things happen. One fluky goal, and the pressure all turns to you, and there's a snowball effect. I just had to give them a little wakeup."
Abel headed in an entry from Nick Donahue to make it 2-0, and Collins set up Abel again for a goal in the final minute of the half to make it a three-goal advantage.
In the second half, Taconic (1-2) scored early and often, maintaining the kind of intensity that Wasnewsky would like to see going forward to games against Berkshire South rival Mount Everett on Thursday and city rival Pittsfield on Friday.
"Even when we came out of the first half with three goals, I didn't want to see a slide," Wasnewsky said. "Once you get on a roll like that, you want to maintain. If you think, 'I want to save it for the next game,' you're going to come out flat the next game."
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