Boys' Soccer - Varsity
vs.
Belmont Hill School
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Win 3-2
The New England Class A Tournament quarter-final match-up pitted the #3 seeded Taft Rhinos against #6 seeded Belmont Hill. Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, The Big Red started the game well, maintaining possession and creating a number of scoring opportunities. However, The Belmont Hill defense proved difficult to break down, and the visitors’ goalkeeper made several excellent saves. On the other end of the pitch, Belmont Hill forwards looked dangerous running at the Taft defense, but they were unable to find the back of the net. Defenders Gabe Eliasson, Cole Torino, Ethan Hindle, Jordan Miller, and Micah Umeh were strong for the Rhinos, while Kevin Wharfe worked hard in the midfield to disrupt Belmont Hill’s attack. The first half ended without a goal, but the spectators enjoyed plenty of exciting soccer. Taft broke through ten minutes into the first half, when Marvin Sibanda played a pass to Mthabisi Tshuma atop the Belmont Hill penalty area. Tshuma made a spectacular run, weaving through three defenders and the goalkeeper before driving the ball into the back of the net to give Taft a lead. In the 65th minute, Taft doubled the lead when Sibanda found Bawa streaking toward the Belmont Hill goal. Bawa took a touch and then drilled a low shot into the corner of the net to double the lead. The game seemed in control for the home side, but Belmont Hill fought back. After cutting the deficit in half with a well-taken free kick, Belmont Hill’s talented forward got loose again and tied the game with only ten minutes to play. Shortly thereafter, however, Tshuma found his second goal of the match, again on a great individual effort, and that goal proved to be the game-winner. It was a fantastic effort from The Big Red and a great match for the seniors in their final home performance. Up next, Taft will travel to Loomis Chaffee for the New England semi-finals in a rematch of the teams’ November 4th contest, which Loomis won 4-3.