Girls' Soccer - Varsity
Sacred Heart Academy
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Win 6-3
Taft opened its 2017 campaign against Convent of the Sacred Heart. It what is always a battle of excited teams that will be vastly different in two months, Taft looked forward to beginning the season with a high note. With a combination of returning and new players, young players and experienced leaders, the excitement was evident as the Big Red took the field. Taft would begin the game well – working the ball from side-to-side, possessing well. There was a sense of feeling out the game as the new group of players both were learning from each other and also learning what it is like to play another team when stakes are high. It is very different than scrimmages and Taft would play with more and more confidence as the half wore on. Emlee Adami ’19 would get Taft on the scoreboard first after a build up and cross from the right. After a scrum, Adami found herself inside the 18 and buried a shot for Taft’s first goal of the new season not 15 minutes gone in the half. Tri-Captain Kristin Manfreda ’18 would earn Taft’s second goal just 3 minutes later when Jamie Howie ’18 drew a foul on top of the Sacred Heart box. Manfreda would drive the ball around the wall, through the goalies hands, and in for her first goal of the season. Taft’s 2-0 lead would be added to right before halftime when Taft earned a corner with 30 seconds left. Adami would send a driven ball in and Paton Roberts ’21 would beat her defender and redirect the ball with superb technical precision for Taft’s third goal right before halftime. The second half showed much of the ball possession of the first half but also showed areas in formation, technique, and identity that need improvement, very typical of a first game. Amanda Graziano ’21 had one of the best halfs in a debut for a lower mid scoring three times over the course of the half off of just three shots. Senior leaders Taylor Jacobs ’18 and Tri-Captain Mary Alice Ewing ’18 along with Roberts assisted on Graziano’s three goals. As the half wore on, Taft would be susceptible at the back and Sacred Heart was able to find holes in the Big Red defensive shift or failures to mark runners. Sacred Heart would score 3 goals in the final 15 minutes, including 2 in the final 8 minutes to end the game with Taft on top 6-3. The Taft team has taken a good step forward and it will need to shore up some of the issues that led to its opponent getting good looks around their net. This is still very much a team finding their identity and it is a fun and exciting process with the mix of players on the 2017 team. Taft will take to the field on a rare Tuesday game due to Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday. St. Luke’s will visit Taft on 9/19 for a 4:15 start.