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By JEREMY RASMUSSEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2001
TAMPA -- After trailing 2-1 in the first half, Jesuit stormed back with four unanswered goals to pound Bloomingdale 5-2 in the opening round of the Soccer Field Classic on Thursday at Gaither.
Jesuit (14-2) kept up the pressure early and scored in the fifth minute when Eric Grzybowski's free kick from the left side rolled past several Bloomingdale defenders.
But midway through the half, the Bulls (11-3) got on the scoreboard when Brandon Hancock took the ball on the end line, got past a defender and passed it to Josh Garbee in the middle for an easy goal. The Bulls took a 2-1 lead in the 34th minute when Garbee's crossing pass found a streaking Ryan Smith in the middle for the finish.
Jesuit tied it just before the half when Bloomingdale goalie Chris Sedlak failed to punch the ball clear and Ron Guevera was there to knock it in.
In the second half, the Tigers dominated with constant offensive pressure and capitalized on several defensive lapses by the Bulls. Scott Golden, John Kluft and Ray Castilla scored unassisted goals.
The game was a matchup of teams that were runners-up in their respective brackets in last month's prestigious Puma International. Jesuit lost 1-0 to Gaither in the Puma Elite bracket final. The Tigers and Cowboys square off again at 8 tonight.
Bloomingdale, meanwhile, was shellacked 6-1 by top-ranked Mater Dei of California. Coach Dave Tennian said he didn't know if the Bulls had ever given up 11 goals in two games before.
"We're trying different things to see what works," he said. "Obviously, we still have some tinkering to do in the back. It's a great opportunity to work out some of the kinks against some top competition before we go into districts."
Jesuit assistant Kevin Sephton said he was surprised to see so many unassisted goals by the Tigers.
"Our goals usually don't come that way," Sephton said. "They usually come from us working the ball around. But we'll take them anyway."