Girls' Soccer - Varsity
Loomis Chaffee School
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Loss 2-3
Taft hosted Founders League foe Loomis Chaffee is what is the biggest matchup at this stage in the season every year. The 2017 edition was no different as the game was back and forth as both teams found seams for scoring chances. Twice Taft would go down and twice they would fight back. Unfortunately for the Big Red, it would be the visitors with the last quality chance and Taft would suffer their first loss of the season. In a phenomenal response to a lackluster emotional performance on Wednesday, Taft never lacked for heart on the day. Loomis would poke through first about midway through the first half. The goal would not dampen the effort but would necessitate much more intent on the Big Red attack. Too often in the first half the Rhino offense would be stymied by careless turnovers. The heart and effort was there but the lack of execution prevented abundant opportunities. To beat a good team, execution needs to match the emotions and Taft would need to find a new level to get back into the game. Although halftime found Taft down 0-1, it gave the squad a great opportunity to change attacking style and the impact was immediate. Jamie Howie ’18 scored another big goal for Taft off of a cross from Patience Kum ’21 who was creative all day in her first Founders League game. Howie’s tying goal buoyed the Taft spirit but unfortunately the mental focus lapsed as a result and Taft would be out of position and have a succession of poor defensive decisions to leave open a Loomis player on top of the box. Loomis would convert the opportunity on a deft shot past Taft’s rock, goalkeeper Katie Piechnik ’18, just 30 seconds after they drew even. With Taft down 1-2, the Big Red showed their best. Eveliina Kuitunen ’20 and Tri-Captain Kristin Manfreda ’18 strung together the wings and found open feet all game. Tri-Captains Juliana Yamin ’18 and Mary Alice Ewing ’18 were asked to play a lot of 1v1 defense and were up to the task. Emilee Adami ’19 was a terror on the flanks and would blow past the Loomis back to put in a cross that would find the back of the net to draw the game level at 2-2. Once again, Taft’s defense would lapse and Loomis would score the eventual winning goal with 15 minutes left in the game. The Big Red would have their chances to draw level again but their heart would not carry them to a result. It is hard to full encapsulate the back and forth nature of the match and the heart that ever Taft player carried throughout the match. It was a great step forward for the Big Red team looking to keep taking steps forward as a group. Although they did not win, the game provided a model for emotion that Taft will need to create their standard as they will play two tough games on the road in the next week. Taft will travel to Greenwich on Wednesday for a 3:30 kickoff.