Boys' Soccer - Varsity
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Two outstanding prep school soccer teams put on a show in Watertown on Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately for Taft, the visiting Berkshire Bears came away with a wild 7-5 victory. For the Rhinos, the loss broke a streak of sixteen consecutive wins at home – a run that lasted two calendar years. Berkshire opened the scoring in the 17th minute, but Taft answered eight minutes later when Mthabisi Tshuma headed home a corner kick from Sammed Bawa. Berkshire stormed right back with two goals before half time. Long throw-ins into the box were particularly dangerous for the visiting side, and a couple of Berkshire goals were scored in that fashion. Berkshire added to the lead right at the start of the second half, and with the score 4-1, it was looking bleak for Taft. Then, The Big Red caught fire. Tshuma scored his second of the game, and Marvin Sibanda drew the Rhinos within one goal when he buried a cross from Carter Veley. After a poor clearance, Sibanda found Bawa who slotted home, and with half an hour to play, the score was 4-4. In the 76th minute, Berkshire nodded a long-throw in over the goal line to take the lead, and a minute later, they doubled the lead on a well-executed counter attack. However, The Big Red kept fighting. Sibanda scored his second of the game off a feed from Tshuma, and Taft was back within striking distance. Unfortunately, Berkshire’s talented winger found some space in the 81st minute and was hauled down inside the Taft penalty area. Shayan Karimi made the initial save on the penalty kick, but the rebound was headed home, making the score 7-5. Despite the final score, a number of Rhinos put forth excellent performances. Kevin Wharfe and Aaron Skeene worked tirelessly in the midfield, and the young defense of Jayce Fraser, Micah Umeh, Jordan Miller, and Ethan Hindle played much better than the score would indicate. In the end, it was another classic between Taft and Berkshire. Granted, the match had a much different feel than the 1-0 contest that Berkshire won the last time these teams played, but the spectators certainly went home entertained on this afternoon. In the end, both teams should be proud of their level of play, both in terms of skill and effort. Up next, Taft looks to start a new streak on Saturday when the Rhinos host Trinity-Pawling.