Boys' Soccer - JV
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Watertown, CT—The Rhinos closed out Family Weekend with a comprehensive win against a strenuous, well-drilled Kent team. In running out 5-1 winners, Taft saw two players bag braces and a center half make an impact on his opposite end. Taft moved the ball quickly and with purpose around the back in the first period, each midfielder and fullback were on the ball frequently, with Will De Luca and Edvin Tran Hoac having especial impact getting the ball into dangerous spaces. In another moment, early in the half, Will Franco picked up a ball from Peter Yu and carried it into the inside left channel. As the 10th minute ticked to a close, Franco drove inside the opposing center back and held off the pressure to finish inside the near post. Captain Devin Johnson roamed the space in front of his backline, while Tran Hoac—then Cooper Reed—took the ball forward to break lines and play in teammates like Jesse Brew and Nick Alin on the wings. Forward Elliott Cohen made easy work of a sumptuous assist from Aidan Essig in the 16th, slotting home neatly after being put in to a 1v1 on the Kent keeper. Nixon Jennings and Tate Phillips pounded the center backs as the half wore on, making space and creating chances for the likes of Tucker Cassady and Lachlan Hawes to cut insides. Buoyed by a solid first stanza, Taft hoped to finish off the game early and looked likely to do so when Franco drove into the Kent box on the 59th minute and forced a slash from the defender that earned a penalty kick. Up stepped Marwan El Borolossy to calmly place the ball the goalie’s left side. Taft 3-0. Kent had energy and cleverness left in them, and they created a great team goal by moving the ball quickly upfield after a defensive take-away. In playing the ball through the Big Red midfield and directing play all the way to the wing, Kent stretched the defense and the ensuing pin-point cross found a crashing back-post run from an attacker. That precision strike made it 3-1 in the 61st minute. Cohen again took his chance in the 74th minute, scoring Taft’s fourth with a poacher’s instinct after some good link-up play with Phillips, Jin Min Young, and Reed. Just two minutes later, Taft put things out of reach when Essig powered home a perfect assist from Franco. Final score: 5-1 Taft will take the field again on Wednesday, this time versus Choate-Rosemary Hall. Game is at 3:30 PM.