Soccer - 3rd
vs. Taft School
|Date:||November 8, 2017|
Showing their grit, the T-P PRIDE battled the Taft Rhinos, looking to improve upon a 1-6 loss earlier in the season. Taft opened up quickly, scoring less than 4 minutes in. T-P picked themselves up, and Stephan Willey soon leveled the match, scoring on a pass from CJ Zezima. Taewan Kwon scored a few minutes later, assisted by a deep ball towards the corner from Christopher Devanny. The coaches were particularly excited to see the boys put Tuesday's set play into action. This was Tae's 7th goal of the season and secured his spot as the points leader for the season (goals plus assists).
Later in the half, T-P made a defensive miscue, awarding Taft an indirect kick seven yards from our goal. Crowding our defensive end, T-P survived that play with a last-ditch clear, but Taft kept the pressure up. Having scored to tie the match at two apiece, a few minutes later Taft put a ball off the head of a T-P defender to sail past the outstretched arms of goalie Nolan MacLear. MacLear would battle back with several saves to keep the game close during the first half.
In the second half the PRIDE, tired and depleted due to injuries, could not keep up the strong play of the opening minutes. Taft scored 4 unanswered goals to end the match with a 7-2 win.
Over the course of the match, Willey's speed and Zezima's heads up play in the offensive zone enabled them to break through the Taft defense on several occasions. Devanny, Jackson McAvoy, Aiden Morgan, and Henry Hatfield anchored the middle of the field, keeping up a good passing game and breaking up many Taft plays. In particular, Morgan and defenseman Nicholas Phillips started stepping out and intercepting Taft passes to regain possession for T-P. Defensive stand outs were Phillips, Declan O'Brien, Hayden Peek, and Henry Bi. Peek played the whole match at centerback and Bi continued his reputation as a "one man wrecking crew" at outside back.
Lucas Brennwald, Thomas Solecki, Mike Yan, and Jason Jia provided key support off the bench, keeping pressure on the Taft players. Brennwald made use of both feet to disrupt Taft passes and generate offensive opportunities, and Solecki demonstrated his commitment by quickly pressuring any ball-carriers who strayed too close.