Boys' Soccer - Varsity
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The Big Red traveled to Suffield to face a Tiger team that had lost only one game so far this season. The clash between the undefeated Rhinos and the one-loss Tigers lived up to the hype in the first half. Both teams worked hard to possess the ball, and there was no shortage of scoring opportunities in the first forty-five minutes. On multiple occasions, Taft broke through the Suffield back line, but the Tiger goalkeeper made several impressive saves to keep the match scoreless. Suffield’s best opportunity came when one of their midfielders found some space outside of the Taft penalty area and uncorked on swerving shot that smashed off the crossbar before it was cleared away by Taft’s defense. Despite an entertaining first half, the score remained goalless at half time. In the second half, Taft played with a bit more urgency and began to wear down the Suffield side. In the 49th minute, Mthabisi Tshuma received a thrown-in deep in Suffield’s end and curled a cross towards the opposition’s goal. Sammed Bawa rose to meet the ball and headed it into the corner of the net, giving Taft the lead. Taft doubled the lead seven minutes later when Jordan Miller played a long pass forward to Bawa. Bawa, again using his head, flicked the ball forward into the path of a charging Marvin Sibanda. Sibanda bolted past the Suffield defenders and slotted the ball into the net. Two minutes later, Bawa and Sibanda traded roles. After Jack Mooney won a challenge in the midfield, Sibanda slipped a pass Bawa, leaving him all alone with the Suffield goalkeeper. Bawa dribbled around the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the back of the net, making the score 3-0 in favor of the visitors. In the 75th minute, Jackson Lardner lobbed a ball behind the back of the Suffield defense for Mthabisi Tshuma. Tshuma collected the ball, eluded his defender, and drove the ball into the back of the net. Suffield fought hard until the final whistle, but Taft emerged with a 4-0 victory. Shayan Karimi picked up another shutout in net, while Micah Umeh and Jordan Miller were outstanding on defense. It was a fantastic team effort as Taft improved to 7-0 on the season. Up next, Taft will host Berkshire in a rematch of last year’s New England Class A semi-finals, which Berkshire won 1-0. The clash of undefeated teams is sure to showcase the very best of prep school soccer.