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Boys' Soccer - Varsity
vs.
Brunswick School
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Win 5-1
Taft began the 2019 campaign playing host to a hard-working and organized Brunswick side. In the opening minutes, The Rhinos enjoyed the majority of the possession of the ball, but the visitors defended well and kept the match scoreless until midway through the first half. Then, James Donaldson rose well to win a header in Taft’s defensive end. Oury Diane collected the ball and quickly advanced it to Sammed Bawa who charged forward and was ultimately hauled down just outside Brunswick’s penalty area, creating a free kick for Taft. Bawa stepped up to take the free kick and whipped the ball into the top corner for the season’s first goal. The first tally seemed to give The Big Red a bit of confidence, and they were able to double the lead through KK Baffour only nine minutes later. Donaldson was again involved in the build up, and when Bawa pushed the ball through Brunswick’s back line, Baffour was first to it and slipped it inside the near post to make the score 2-0. In the 35th minute, a spectacular long-range effort from Bawa extended Taft’s lead to three. The thirty-yard strike came following an assist from Ethan Hindle. The first half ended without another goal, but Brunswick began the second half in strong fashion. Relentless pressure from a Brunswick striker on Taft’s defense forced a turnover in the Rhinos’ end of the field, and the ensuing play resulted in a penalty kick for Brunswick. Brunswick converted the penalty with confidence and cut into Taft’s lead. However, seven minutes later, Taft was awarded a penalty kick of their own. After a dangerous cross from Charlie Shanks into Brunswick’s penalty area, Bawa touched the ball around the Brunswick goalkeeper and was chopped down, causing the referee to point to the penalty spot. Once again, Bawa made no mistake with the chance, blasting the ball into the corner of the goal to complete his hat trick. Yet, the Taft talisman was not finished. After Nur Adhikarie drew a foul just outside the penalty area in the 66th minute, Bawa found the back of the net one more time from a free kick to make the score 5-1. Throughout the match, Taft got strong midfield performances from Baffour, Peter Denious, and Benas Babenskas, while goalkeepers Chris Murphy and Brooks Reed both put forth confident efforts. Up next, Taft will welcome Westminster to Watertown for a mid-week Founders League match.