Boys' Soccer - JV
Choate Rosemary Hall
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Tie 1-1
In the penultimate home game of the year, The Taft Rhinos hosted the Wild Boars of Choate Rosemary Hall. What started as a great sunny day for soccer turned into a real test for the home side. Choate started the game strong and was getting some pressure on attack. The calm defense of Taft stayed in the zone and snuffed out the early pressure. Cayden Van Dolah and Anmay Suri helped stabilize the area in front of keeper Will Droppo. As the game settled in it seemed the Wild Boars were playing for the counter attack and possession started to tilt in the favor of the Rhinos. Midway through the first half, Choate scored off a header in front of the net to go ahead 1-0. This did not unsettle Taft who knows how to come back from such a challenge. This team plays with heart and never gives up in a game. The half time score stayed at 1-0 despite some chances from Kaden Parsons, Miller Masterson and Patrick Yan up front. The solid control of midfielders Noah Cinel, Kojo Cinel and Camilo Pinto Gonzalez always keeps the Rhinos in the game and ready to pounce. Service from any of the backs is getting increasingly accurate and dangerous and sets up the attack often. After the second half started, the weather turned for the worst and wind and hail started to dominate play and distract the players from the solid brand of soccer that they know how to play. It never touched our hearts though as we continued to press and look for the equalizer. Miller Masterson put on tantalizingly just wide of the goal with 15 minutes to go. Abdikani Ahmed put one just over the cross bar. Liam Duhmale Smyth just missed one as he streaked in from the right hand side. But with less than 10 minutes to go it seemed that things were getting desperate. The home side was near panic, but stayed the course and earned a couple of late corners. Jonathan So took control and sent in a ball from the corner that Micheal Werblow was able to volley home for the equalizing goal. Taft was not satisfied with that and worked hard to get the winner, but time ran off the clock before they could earn it. Under these conditions with what looked like many things stacked against Taft, these players may have bent, but they did not break. They showed their character and resilience fighting every minute of play. The focus now turns to get ready for Loomis at home Saturday.