Girls' Varsity Soccer
vs Berkshire School
Score/Result: 2-4 L
Photo Credit: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Taft traveled to Sheffield, MA, on Saturday looking to avenge a preseason scrimmage loss against Berkshire. Despite some familiarity with their opponents and knowing a win was possible, Taft could not muster the energy, drive, and grit it takes to win on the road. Before they could get into the game Taft ceded three goals to the hosts. While they had possession strung together with numerous passes, just 17 minutes into the game Taft found themselves down by an amount they would not overcome. Taft had their chances in the half, including a blast from co-captain Taylor Rado ’14 on a set piece that the Berkshire goalie just parried over the crossbar, but could not find the net.
The second half saw a renewed focus to just being athletes and competing for the Big Red. Led my Katherine Roznik ’14, Taft was able to stifle Berkshire’s long ball style by closing down a lot of space in the midfield. Taft started to win more 50-50 balls and finding space out wide. Riley Bragg ’17 played a nearly flawless half wide for the Big Red. Kyra Thomas ’17 played a new position and was strong in the center. Hanna Dillon ’15 played her best soccer of the year, playing simply and quickly from the back. Natalie Whiting ’14 looked more comfortable than she has all season. In her first minutes for the varsity in net, Emily Drakeley’s voice was heard throughout the field as she commanded the box.
The real pace-setters for the Big Red, though, were Rado and Peyton Swift ’15. The two central players were tenacious in every phase of the game and picked up the emotion of the entire Taft squad. Rado chased down balls all over the field. Swift moved wherever she was needed from Berkshire’s 18 to Taft’s back line. Fittingly, both players found the scoresheet for the Big Red in the second half. Rado stuck a gorgeous ball played from Swift. Returning the favor, Swift scored a wonder goal off a one-time volley to far side netting off a cross from Rado with ten minutes to go in the game. Swift goal was a testament to skill, creativity, and technique – it might stand as Taft’s “Goal of the Year.” Berkshire had added their fourth between the Rado and Swift goals and held a 4-2 lead through the final whistle.
While the second half saw improvement, it also showed that there is an emotional edge that Taft must find heading into the real meat of their schedule. One statistic that illustrates this is that Taft had six corner kicks throughout the game and was not first to the ball in any of them. Berkshire had two corner kicks and were able to get to the ball before Taft on both. While no goals were scored off these dead balls, they illustrate the difference in mindset between to the two squads on the day.
Taft takes to the field again on Wednesday the 25th when they host Rye Country Day. Kickoff is set for 4:15.
Rado – 1 (2)
Swift – 1 (3)
Rado – 1 (1)
Swift – 1 (1)
Dutton – 2
Drakeley – 2