Groton and SPS draw 1-1

After an up-and-down display in a preseason draw against Proctor Academy that saw Sixth Former Leo Serodio mark his return with a well-taken hat trick, Groton approached its first match against St. Paul’s with a young squad, most of whom weren’t with the program last year when the Zebras drew with SPS in the final ten minutes of a pulsating encounter.  The opening 45 of Friday’s match was a largely cagey affair, with both sides probing for weaknesses as Groton began to enjoy more space in the final third as they pushed for the opener.  A penalty after a trailing handball from a Groton defender offered SPS the chance to take the lead, which they converted, and Groton went into the break frustrated at being down 1-0.  They emerged reenergized in the second half, working together admirably to track back defensively without sacrificing attacking ambition.  SPS defended well and in numbers, and, despite injuries to captain Will Klick (Fifth Form) and Serodio, Groton continued to push for an equalizer.  In the final minutes of the game, Groton were rewarded for their persistence, with Fifth Former Edward Wilkey forcing a deflected clearance across the line after a corner kick.  Groton pressed for a winner in the final seconds, but the game ended in a creditable draw.  Next up: Groton will play St. George’s on Saturday, September 23rd (at home).