Let the rebuilding begin.
After losing seven long-time starters to graduation last year, the Brunswick soccer team entered the 2012 somewhat of a mystery, trying to integrate new faces while trying to improve in the highly competitive NEPSAC.
If game one is any indication of how much progress has been made, the future appears to be very bright for this group of Bruins.
Agrest, who scored twice from the penalty spot, was a constant threat all over the pitch with his dribbling, winning both spot kicks himself and creating countless other chances for the home side.
"Frankie is one of the best players in the league," Bruins coach Power Fraser said. "He defends well, he can dribble and he can shoot; those two penalty shots were huge against a team like this. He is a very important player for a program."
Agrest opened the scoring in the 21st minute, heading home a sharply delivered corner kick into the side of the net. He then scored two penalties in the second half after his zig-zagging runs forced the defense to foul him inside the box.
"I just tried to keep my cool," Agrest said. "I think one of my strengths is one-on-one dribbling and I tried to use it to my advantage. It's good when the team gets the ball to my feet because that's when I can create."
Knocking off one of the best teams in the region is certainly no small feat. Taft went 12-3-1 to earn a spot in the New England semifinals in 2011 and are consistently one of the teams to beat.
The Rhinos did not make this one easy however, and pulled to within one twice following goals in the 80th and 87th minutes off free kicks. Taft had another set piece with 90 seconds to play, but the Bruins cleared the danger and held on for the precious win.
"That's a tribute to Taft, we know when we play them the game isn't over until the 90 minutes is up," Fraser said. "You kind of hold your breath at the end when they are putting on that pressure but we held on."
Captain Peter Khoury helped Brunswick's young defense organized, only yielding two late goals against a highly skilled opponent.
"Coming into this game I was nervous," Khoury said. "I'm incredibly proud of this team; we have a lot of new names and faces and they gained a lot of experience today. This is a huge step in the right direction for us."
Opening its season against such a tough opponent should pay dividends for Brunswick going forward.
"People usually think of us as a pretty average side that just competes," Agrest said. "I think today we showed we can compete with anyone."
Brunswick's next contest is a trip to Loomis Chaffee on Wednesday.
Brunswick 3, taft 2
TAFT 0 2--2
BRUNSWICK 1 2--3