Boys' Soccer - JV
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On a sunny but increasingly cold afternoon, Boys’ JV took on Suffield at home. It was a nervous start by Taft, with an excellent clearance by Nero Maung from an early corner. In minute 7, winger Liam Dhumale-Smyth, such an exciting presence for the team, had to leave the game after a robust challenge from the Suffield defense. A minute later goalie Jack Eastman made a commanding save from a Suffield free-kick, and was again called into action moments later from a corner. Taft then began to find their confidence, stringing passes together and steadily building up play. A Kataro Wato shot went wide from a Noah Cinel cross which was soon followed up with an strong Oliver Lufkowitz drive and pass that was well dealt with by the Suffield defense. Kaiel Casserly and James Cooper began finding space in the inside left channel, and combined well when Casserly cut inside and sent a through ball to Cooper whose shot was saved. The introduction of Luca Gatti resulted in even more pressure on the Suffield goal, and the defense was finally breached in the 31st minute. Cinel took the ball into the box, was brought down, and with the referee still playing advantage, the ball found its way to Wato, laying it off to Cooper who slotted the ball home with a side-foot shot. In the 33rd minute, a rare Suffield attack was again expertly cleared by Maung, and then, on the stroke of half-time, Wato fought hard to keep a through-pass in play, before passing intelligently to Cooper who put it in the back of the onion bag for his–and Taft’s–second of the game. Taft started the second-half how they finished the first. In the 54th minute Cinel got a pass from Wato in midfield, then let fly with a powerful, accurate shot that flew into the net against the underside of the bar. A truly wonderful goal. Two minutes later the game was all but settled when a Cinel corner was bundled into the net by a Suffield player under severe pressure from Maung. For the next 30 minutes Taft controlled the game, stringing passes together with efficiency between Watts Littman, Kojo Asmak, and Camilo Gonzalez. Quinton Ross and Brendan Staines applied pressure off the ball and, when winning it back, forced the attack, while Thomson Knight and Owen Wyman offered reassuring coverage at the back, and provided the calm necessary for seeing out the game. Aside from an excellent box clearance by Andrew Jaroch in the 68th minute, when he tracked back the full length of the pitch to see off his Suffield opponent, and a well-timed rush-out by goalie Julian Prentice moments later, the game drew to a close without incident. The excellent Casserly had to leave the field late on with a hip injury, but the game ended 4-0 to Taft with a hard-fought, well-earned win.