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Boys' Soccer - Varsity
Avon Old Farms School
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Loomis Chaffee School
Win 3-0
The Rhinos left campus bright and early on Sunday morning to take on Avon Old Farms in the Northeast Prep Soccer Jamboree, hosted by Loomis. With well over one hundred college coaches on hand to watch a dozen prep school soccer games, it was an exciting atmosphere for a highly anticipated Founders League match between Taft and the Winged Beavers of Avon. Both sides began the match with plenty of energy, but it was The Big Red who struck first. In the fifth minute, after eluding a couple of defenders in the middle of the pitch, KK Baffour played a long pass behind Avon’s defense in search of Sammed Bawa. Bawa, as well as Avon’s center back and goalkeeper all raced towards the ball, but it was The Rhinos’ striker who emerged with the ball and calmly rolled it into the empty net to give Taft an early lead. Both teams created plenty more chances throughout the first half, but Taft managed to take the slim, one-goal lead to halftime. Early in the second half, Sebastian Manon played a crisp pass to KK Baffour, who looped a shot over the outstretched arms of the Avon goalkeeper to double Taft’s lead. Minutes later, Bawa completed his brace with an impressive goal. Ethan Hindle won the ball in Taft’s defensive end and played the ball into space on the left flank. Bawa took a touch around the defender and found himself in alone on goal. He made no mistake with the opportunity, giving The Rhinos a 3-0 lead. As the game wore on, Taft got excellent defensive performances from Cole Torino, Ethan Hindle, and Jordan Miller, and James Donaldson also put in a fantastic shift in the midfield. Substitutes Zobran Elias and Diky Izmirlian contributed important minutes in the victory, and Chris Murphy was once again confident in goal to earn the shutout. Making their season debuts, C.J. D’Virgilio was reliable on the defensive end of the field and Mayan Ewert proved dangerous up front. Overall, it was an outstanding team effort from Taft against a spirited and skillful Avon Old Farms team. With three wins in as many games, Taft must prepare for a tough mid-week road trip to Deerfield.