Boys' Soccer - Varsity
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A staunch defensive effort from Brunswick frustrated Taft for much of the afternoon, but in the end, The Big Red prevailed by a score 2-0 in the season opener. Playing in front of a sizeable crowd at home, Taft possessed the ball well in the early minutes of the match but was unable to break through the organized and disciplined Brunswick defense. In the fifteenth minute, Taft earned a corner kick, and Sammed Bawa curled the ball into the Brunswick penalty area. The ball was cleared away from the center, but it fell back to the feet Bawa on the right side of the area. Bawa slipped past his defender and squared a pass to Mthabisi Tshuma, who was just eight yards from goal. Tshuma took a touch and fired the ball inside the far post to give the home side the lead. Taft continued to maintain the majority of the possession throughout the first half, but Brunswick was dangerous on a number of counterattacks. Fortunately, Taft goalkeeper Shayan Karimi was quick off his line to clear away any through balls from the visitors. Midway through the first half, Jack Mooney entered the match and gave Taft a needed dose of energy; however, the score remained 1-0 as the halftime whistle blew. The game opened up quite a bit in the second half, as both teams found more scoring opportunities. Taft defenders Micah Umeh, Jordan Miller, and Ethan Hindle worked hard for ninety minutes to turn away Brunswick attackers, and with the score still 1-0, Micah Umeh made an impressive play to block a shot that was headed towards Taft’s goal. Taft had a chance to double the lead when Marvin Sibanda was hauled down inside the penalty area resulting in a penalty kick. Mthabisi Tshuma, looking his second goal of the game, stepped up to take the spot kick. Tshuma drove the ball to the lower right corner, but the Brunswick goalkeeper, who was outstanding on the day, made an excellent save without allowing a rebound to keep Brunswick in the match. In the seventy-ninth minute, Taft was finally able to get that important insurance goal. The play began when Micah Umeh played a long pass to Cole Torino, who cut inside and played the ball to Marvin Sibanda. Sibanda, who was twenty-five yards from goal, took a touch and blasted the ball into upper left corner of the goal, sending the crowd into a frenzy. In the waning moments, Brunswick was awarded a free kick, and their talented striker drilled the ball off the crossbar. Fortunately for Taft, the rebound effort went wide, and the shutout remained in tact. The match ended with a 2-0 score in favor of Taft. Kevin Wharfe played a strong game in the midfield for Taft, and seniors Peter Horne and Dylan Powell made their varsity debuts towards the end of the match. Brunswick fought valiantly on the day, and Taft is certainly pleased to start the season with a win and a clean sheet. Up next, Taft will host Westminster on Wednesday in its first Founders League clash of the season.