Girls' Soccer - Varsity
St. Luke's School
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Win 3-1
With Rosh Hashanah beginning on Wednesday, Taft played a rare Tuesday game against visiting St. Luke’s School from New Canaan. It would take the Big Red too long to forget the variables involved with playing on a non-traditional day. The lack of focus was felt on the scoreboard yet trailing for the first time in the young season awoke the Rhinos who stormed back to take the win. One of the hardest parts of playing possession soccer early in the season is learning how to support each other and where players can combine on the field to create truly dangerous opportunities at net. With St. Luke’s playing an immediate drop when Taft repossessed the ball, the Big Red would have it’s time to try different combinations but lacked a true grit or final push to provide the scoring chances necessary to win a game. Taft would outshoot their visitors by seven in the first half but too often they came from poor angles, from too far to put together a quality, or from too early in the possession to worry the St. Luke’s netminder. It would be St. Luke’s that would take advantage of a series of Taft miscues defensively that led to a foul in the Taft defensive third. Their ball played to the back post would find it’s way into the Taft net to take a 0-1 lead into halftime. The time together in between periods gave the Taft squad an opportunity to discuss, get on the same page, and acknowledge that possession doesn’t result in goals. It takes more determination and grit around goal to do the unselfish or difficult task to earn a goal. It would be Jamie Howie ’18 that would snap the Big Red out of their funk through personal effort. Tri-Captain Kristin Manfreda ’18 would send a set piece on frame which the St. Luke’s goalie had to parry to the ground. Howie would meet the ball before it would rebound to the goalie’s hand to draw Taft level. Howie would pull Taft into the lead not ten minutes later on a phenomenal individual effort inside the box for her second on the day and second on the season. Manfreda would add one of her own from distance in the run of play off a back pass from Patience Kum ’21, her first point of the season. In all, Taft played with more discipline and attitude in the second half which was a great step forward in the young season. The Big Red would more than triple their first half shots, threatened the St. Luke’s net, and earn a 3-1 victory. Taft will need to keep improving and learning to come out faster in the games to come. Attitude is a vital part of any game at this level, and playing confidently also means continuing to find new levels of depth. Taft will take to the field again on Saturday when they travel to Berkshire to take on the Bears on the turf at 2:30.