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Lax Season Recap
The 2012 Boys' Varsity Lacrosse season was filled with highs and lows, but above all, the Big Red challenged themselves in every matchup and the group improved tremendously throughout the season en route to 10 wins and a strong turnaround from the 2011 season.
The team started off its 2012 campaign with a very successful trip to Kissimmee, Florida. Less than 36 hours after getting to the hotel, the boys were faced with a full scrimmage vs. national power Gilman School from Baltimore County. Despite only having a few practices under its belt, the Big Red played extremely well and ended up tying the Greyhounds by a score of 3-3. From there, the Big Red defeated ISL champion Middlesex 6-2 and beat Pomfret and St. Paul’s School of New Hampshire 13-2 and 13-0 respectively.
After returning to Connecticut, just four days later the Big Red opened up in Harvard Stadium vs. Phillips Exeter. Despite the great venue and great momentum from Florida, the Big Red came out flat and fell to Exeter 8-2. Despite the loss, the Big Red was able to take a few positives from the first loss and gain from the experience. Taft would go on to win its next three games including a huge win over Brunswick 9-6; the win over ‘Wick was Taft’s first since 2006. Following the Brunswick game, the Big Red started on its season long roller coaster ride. In their next game they lost to eventual Founders League champion Westminster 8-6 despite recording 41 shots. Next the Big Red beat eventual New England Division II champion Millbrook on the road 8-7. From there, the Big Red traveled to #2 nationally ranked Deerfield and gave away a heartbreaker 8-7 and then lost at Choate 9-8 in double overtime. At this point in the season the defense was playing incredibly well. The close defense of Captain Brennan Foley ’12, Chas South ’13 and Eric Smith ’14 and Goalie Chase Murphy was giving up less than seven goals per game. In the midfield LSMs Captain Augie Masucci ’12 and Jake Miller ’14 were limiting teams midfielders to less than three goals per game and SSDM Max Feidelson ’12 was a monster between the boxes.
In the second half of the season, Taft got back to its winning ways and won its next four before falling to #6 nationally ranked Salisbury. After beating Loomis and falling to Avon, Taft was ready for its Alumni day matchup vs. #23 nationally ranked Hotchkiss. The many alums that were in attendance were treated to a show on Camp Field. Although the game was back and forth, there is no doubt that the boys in red were more physical and more intense for the full 48 minutes and as the time expired, Taft had prevailed 14-10. In the win, 2013 captain elect James Tautkus ’13 scored six goals and added an assist and Virginia commit Tyler Breen ’14 added five goals of his own.
On the year, the Big Red improved from six wins in 2011 to 10 in 2012. The Big Red also had numerous players win post-season awards. Defenseman and captain Brennan Foley ’12 and midfielders Kevin Mulvey ’12 and captain Cooper Del Zotto ’12 were named to the New England senior East/West game. LSM and captain Augie Masucci ’12 and attackman James Tautkus ’13 were named Founders League All-Stars. Goalie Chase Murphy ’12 (who made an incredible 213 saves and stopped 66% of the shots he faced in 16 games), defenseman Chas South ’13 and midfielders Jeff Kratky ’13 (a selection in 2011 as well) and Garrett Clarke ’12 were named All-Western New England. Finally, Max Feidelson ’12 was named a US Lacrosse Academic All-American.
The 2012 lacrosse team was led by 15 great seniors, but the 2013 will return a lot of talent. The majority of the defense will be back including 2013 senior captain Chas South ’13 and outstanding close defender Eric Smith ’14 – Smith is highly regarded as one of the best defensemen in the country in the 2014 class. In the midfield, Taft returns 2013 captain and University of Virginia commit Jeff Kratky. In 2012, Kratky won a staggering 67.4% of his draws and added 18 goals, 10 assists and 90 ground balls. The defensive midfield will be anchored by 2013 Captain Oliver Sippel ’13 who came on late and finished the year with 18 GBs and two assists. At attack, Taft will return leading scorer and 2013 captain James Tautkus ’13. Tautkus led the team with 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points. The returning attack also boasts leading goal scorer Tyler Breen ‘14 – who scored 24 goals despite being covered by the opponent’s top cover guy every game. In addition to these standouts, as always, Taft will rely on its depth, lower level players and incoming student athletes to help the squad improve on its impressive 2012 season.
More than anything, the Taft lacrosse program would like to thank the parents and alums for making this a memorable season and really making every game feel like a family get-together. We are forever grateful for everything that you do for the coaching staff, the players and the school.