Boys' Soccer - Varsity
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Taking on Kent in front of a sizeable Parents’ Day crowd, Taft began the game with plenty of energy, controlling possession of the ball and defending with intensity. The scoring began early for the home side, as Mthabisi Tshuma stuffed home a rebound in the seventh minute. The build-up to the goal was beautiful. Marvin Sibanda played a long pass to Carter Veley, who beat two defenders on the wing before squaring a pass back to Sibanda atop the Kent penalty area. On his first touch, Sibanda blasted a shot on goal. The Kent goalkeeper made a spectacular save, but Tshuma was there to deposit the rebound and give The Rhinos an early lead. Only a minute later, Sibanda found the back of the net after receiving a long pass from Tshuma. In the 14th minute, Sammed Bawa challenged well for a ball in the midfield and the result of that effort put the ball at Tshuma’s feet on the left side of the field. Tshuma split two defenders before drilling the ball past the goalkeeper, and just like that, Taft had created an early three-goal advantage. The visitors responded however, as a Kent forward found some space on the edge of the Taft penalty area and curled an excellent shot into the upper corner, cutting into the deficit. The first half ended without another goal, and The Big Red took a 3-1 lead into the break. In the second half, Taft continued its fine play and showed off its depth. Gabe Eliasson and Peter Horne entered the game and created problems for the Kent defense, while Rex Riefler stepped into the midfield and provided a spark of energy. Dan Yen and Jackson Larder were dangerous in the attacking third, and Taft was able to tack on three more goals before the game ended. The fourth goal came on a well-taken free kick from Marvin Sibanda in the 55th minute. In the 63rd minute, a series of quick passes found Eliasson inside the Kent penalty area. Eliasson laid the ball off to Aaron Skeene who took a touch and blasted a left-footed shot into the upper corner, making the score 5-1. Before the final whistle, Tshuma completed his hat trick when he and Bawa traded passes down the center of the pitch before Tshuma slipped the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper. Once again, The Big Red got a number of unselfish and effective defensive performances from the likes of Kevin Wharfe, Jack Mooney, Cole Torino, and Charlie Werner. With the win, Taft improved to 13-1 on the season and will now prepare to welcome an undefeated Choate team to Watertown on Wednesday.