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Boys' Soccer - Varsity
vs.
Phillips Academy Andover
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Win 2-0
The Rhinos collected their fifth straight win to open the season with a 2-0 shutout over a strong Andover side. Throughout the first half, Taft created a number of scoring opportunities, whipping several dangerous passes in front of Andover’s goal. However, the Andover defense refused to break, and their goalkeeper produced a number of quality saves. Despite exciting attacking soccer on the part of both teams, the first half ended without a goal. Spurred on by a sizable home crowd, Taft pressed to break the deadlock early in the second half. In the 52nd minute, a handball against Andover gave The Big Red a free kick just twenty yards from goal. Sammed Bawa took the opportunity to curl the ball into the top corner of the net, giving The Rhinos a 1-0 lead. The visitors responded with plenty of energy, desperate to find the equalizer. Fortunately, Sebastian Mañon, Ethan Hindle, and the rest of the Taft defense were up to the challenge. As the half wore on, Taft substitutes provided a huge boost for the home side. Particularly good performances were turned in from Zobran Elias, Ben Osset, and Benas Babenskas. Perhaps the most important contribution came from Mayan Ewert, who stepped onto the field with less than ten minutes to play. After an Andover clearance, Benas Babenskas sent the ball back into the Andover penalty area, where Ewert pressured the goalkeeper, pounced on the loose ball, and popped it into the back of the net for a critical insurance goal in the 84th minute. Chris Murphy earned the shutout in net for Taft, who must now prepare for two away games this week, the first at The Gunnery and the second at Suffield Academy.