Boys' Soccer - Varsity
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A feisty and disciplined Gunnery side kept Taft’s offense in check for the first half, but eventually, The Big Red were able to solve the Highlander defense and earn a 6-0 victory on the road. The score at half time was 1-0 in favor of the visitors, and the lone goal came from Sammed Bawa, who ran onto a perfectly weighted pass from Marvin Sibanda, before driving the ball past the charging goalkeeper and into the back of the net in the 19th minute. Early in the second half, The Gunnery nearly drew level on two separate occasions. An attempt on goal from a Gunnery forward was deflected just wide of the net, and the resulting corner kick needed to be cleared from Taft’s goal line. The Rhinos were able to settle down and regain control of the game. After Bawa was tripped up on a breakaway inches outside of the Gunnery penalty area, Carter Veley cashed in on the free kick opportunity, drilling the ball in the far corner of the goal. Only two minutes later, Jackson Lardner scored his first goal of the season, and again, it was Marvin Sibanda who picked up the assist. In the 67th minute, Sibanda collected his third assist of the match, putting Aaron Skeene in on goal. Skeene took a touch around the goalkeeper and drove the ball in the upper corner of the net to extend the lead to four. Towards the end of the match, Cole Torino opened his Taft scoring account when Carter Veley quickly restarted play after a foul and played a pass that left Torino with only the goalkeeper to beat. Minutes later, Torino turned provider, as he found Rex Riefler in front of the Gunnery net. Riefler made no mistake with the opportunity and scored his first goal of his varsity career. It was a solid team effort from Taft on the day, and a number of players, particularly on defense, put forth excellent efforts. Jayce Fraser, Diky Izmirlian, Charlie Werner, and Dylan Powell all helped Shayan Karimi pick up his third shutout of the season. Peter Denious was again a jolt of energy coming off the bench, and Gabe Eliasson, who had been battling an injury, looked dangerous in his season debut. Up next, The Rhinos travel to Suffield to face a talented and athletic Tiger team that has lost only one match on the season. This clash figures to be a highly entertaining prep school soccer match.