GIRLS LAX BEATS HOTCHKISS 12-10
I'll say it again. All good curses must come to an end, and Taft's winless streak vs. Hotchkiss for the past five years came to an end yesterday afternoon.
The two teams were very closely matched in terms of talent. Neither played a perfect game, but it was all heart out there on the field, and Taft simply eeked out more desire when all was said and done. The scoring was back and forth for the entire first half, though the Taft team struggled to find its rhythm. Hotchkiss had possession of the ball for much of the time, as Taft rushed the offense, sometimes scoring a great goal, but often turning it over and forcing a mad 100 yard dash back to our defensive end.
A turnover with 27 seconds to go gave Hotchkiss a chance to take the lead at the end of the first half, an opportunity they did miss. The half-time conversation focused on regaining poise and confidence. We needed to have possession of the ball much more in the second half. We didn't necessarily need many goals, but we needed time to run with the ball in our sticks. We also needed to win the draws and more of the ground balls.
Sarah Dalton took this talk to heart and began the second half with an awesome snag off the draw, carried the ball down the field, and buried it in the Hotchkiss cage. The half continued with more back and forth play, though Taft was able to increase the margin to as many as three goals with 3:38 to go. Hotchkiss had one more goal to make the score 12-10. Taft executed a successfull stall to run much of the final three minutes off the clock. It was a bit unsettled as the last seconds ran out with Hotchkiss gaining several final opportunities to score, but Taft played tough to the end and earned a long-awaited victory against the Bearcats. It was a fantastic team effort.
The unselfish play that has characterized this team all year long served us well yet again in this tough battle. Jill Fraker had a career game in goal, tallying eleven saves. Her leadership and intensity galvanized the defense, which was almost impenetrable. Jackee Snikeris, MacKenzie Snyder, and Brynne McNulty were able to mark some of Hotchkiss' most potent attack players out of the game, and most of Hotchkiss' goals came off of free positions.
The Taft offense got the job done as well. Goals came from Liz Nelson (1), Lexie Comstock (3), Sarah Dalton (4), Molly Davidson (1), and Blair Weymouth (3). As has been the case all along, the effort and intensity were unwavering. Mrs. Guiffre and I couldn't be more proud of the team and their accomplishments yesterday as well as all season. Provided Hotchkiss and Loomis win their contests on Wednesday, yesterday's game secures a share of the Founders' League title for Taft. We finish our season away against Hopkins.
Finally, I want to offer special thanks to our parents and fans whose support and enthusiasm for our team have been inspiring.