Girls' Soccer - Varsity
vs.
Williston Northampton School
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Away
Williston Northampton School
Win 4-1
The Big Red looked to rebound after a challenging week when the traveled to Williston Northampton for a long Wednesday away game. Mental focus and grit was the stress in practices leading up to the game. While the time leading up to the opening whistle was wrought with confusion and embarrassment (Taft left their jerseys in Watertown) the did admirably well in forgetting the things outside of their control and focusing on what they could control. So the Big Red donned some Williston uniforms, hiked up their warmup pants, and started the game with a bang. As she has done three times previous this season alone, Jamie Howie '18 started off the Taft scoring mid way through the first half. After many chances earlier that either just missed or were saved, Taft earned a corner. They would execute perfectly and Howie would bury a ball from a Eveliina Kuitunen corner off of a flick on the volley to give Taft a 1-0 lead. Keeper Katie Piechnik '18 and the back line of Mary Alice Ewing '18, Taylor Jacobs '18, and Elly MacKay '20 were up to the task in the first and Piechnik was forced to make one great save in the first to preserve a 1-0 lead. Taft would come out in the second half focused (and in new shorts!). Just six minutes in to the second, Taft had quick combination between Kristin Manfreda '18, Kayla Thomas '20, and Kuitunen to find Paton Roberts '21 streaking down the wing. Roberts would fire a ball from distance off the post with Howie again in perfect position to slide home her second goal of the game. Taft was not done with scoring and would add another just three minutes later when Howie would slide a ball across the face of goal to a streaking Patience Kum '21. To cap off the Taft scoring and in the best team goal the Rhinos have had all year, Kum would add her second. To create the goal, Taft had numerous players do gritty and difficult tasks. Roberts was in perfect defensive position to stymie a Wiliston attack in the midfield. After working the ball from the center to wing four times, Erina Piri '19 held off a double team in the corner to earn a through. Before the defense could set up, Piri took the throw and received it back from Roberts. Playing in a high cross to the top of the box, Leigh Sharpless '18 came from distance to sky over the Williston defender and win a 1v1 from out of position. Roberts would win a foot race to the ball and get off a contested cross. Kum hit home for her second and put Taft up 4-0. Williston would score a late goal but Taft's focus and determination had already put the game out of balance. Taft will look to continue their strong mental approach when they travel to the Pioneer Valley again to take on Deerfield on Saturday. It will be the Big Green's Parents' Weekend which always provides a fun atmosphere for the game.