Boys' Soccer - III
vs.
Loomis Chaffee School
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Win 4-1
On a lovely Saturday afternoon in early November (sunny and probably 54oF!), the Taft Boys Thirds soccer team welcomed an always tough Loomis side to Watertown for a late season match v the always tough Pelican side. Loomis dominated play early by possessing the ball for extended periods of time. However a stout Taft defense of Tyme Kumthumpinij, TJ Gresham, Ayden Cinel and Kevyn Gunawan once again proved impervious while backed up by the excellent goalkeeper play from Ryan Egan. Furthermore, we were a little shorthanded due to some lads being away for the weekend. Therefore three lads from Fourths were requested to play for us today and all played well. I commend Ethan Costanzo, Gardner Heitzmann and Rafe Van Wagenen for answering the call and really contributing to our win today. We played with one forward and a DCM (mostly David Ma playing well and causing trouble on all corners) and this formation worked well for us. Also, we played a friendly v Taft’s JV team yesterday and this really prepared us well to play a quality side like Loomis. Finally in the 16th minute, Ayden Cinel sent a long ball forward that was collected by Abdullah Alkazemi who beat a defender or two and then pushed the ball by the Loomis goalkeeper, one - nil Taft! Then in the 24th minute, Taft earned a free kick just inside the Loomis half almost directly in front of our bench. I called over Alex “Bang” Macdonald to take the free kick and directed him to send a long ball directly at the Loomis ‘keeper. Their number one didn’t look too sure of himself earlier in the match and I wanted to see how he would react in the ultimate pressure situation of a longball coming in with probably ten players moving directly toward him. I was right as the ball came loose and Brian Chi tapped in Taft’s second goal of the afternoon. The first half ended with Taft ahead two nil and very hopeful for a good result. The second half went much the same as the first as Loomis demonstrated real poise with the ball in the back and then up the sidelines but couldn’t convert this possession time into an actual goal thanks to Taft’s defense where Rafe and Alex “F-bomb” Peng also played well for Taft. In the 49th minute, Taft earned another free kick in Loomis’s defensive third again directly in front of Taft’s bench. I directed Kevin Lian to send a ball far post towards David Ma and Stephen Mayer, two tall lads who will head the ball. The ball found Stephen, and he redirected a lovely header by the Loomis ‘keeper for Taft’s third and a $10 Jig gift certificate! And Coach looked like a goal creating genius, too! Then Stephen struck again in the 54th minute as the Loomis ‘keeper collected the ball, paced up to the top of the 18 and then struck a poor punt that went directly to Stephen. Stephen then directed a one-time forty yarder (at least!) into the Loomis goal on one bounce. As soon as he struck it I said, “That could go in, that’s going in!” Well done, Stephen! He played piano in the musical Mamma Mia! Last night in Bingham and today he scores two goals in a soccer match! Unfortunately we couldn’t keep a clean sheet today as Loomis scored their lone goal in the 66th minute on a typical miscue by the Taft defense. Hey, we aren’t perfect just occasionally very good. Both teams played hard until the final whistle with Taft ahead and very pleased with the four one win. Today was really a fun day for our team with a very good win and a very good attitude displayed. There were few fouls and just good soccer played by both teams. That’s three wins in a row for our lads. Hurray! Our next two and last two matches are away at T-P and then Hotchkiss this Wednesday and then next Saturday. Wish us luck and see you there!