The girls’ thirds team faced off against Taft late Saturday afternoon. After the usual long trek out to the TRIumphs’ arena (literally over the river and through the woods, since teams access the field, shielded by weeping willows, via a footbridge), the Big Green locked horns with the Rhinos. What followed was 80 minutes of hard-fought soccer, as Deerfield looked for a win on the heels of a narrow loss to Miss Porter’s on Wednesday.
Taft opened the scoring with a lucky breakaway, just sneaking the ball past keeper FJ Marsh. However, goal-hungry Jordan Manning immediately answered back, firing a quick pass from Whitney Vogt into the six-hole, to the dismay of the Taft squad.
Unfortunately, Manning’s goal (which she described as “lit” in a post-game interview) was to be the only time the Triumphs got on the scoreboard for the remainder of the officiated minutes. Deerfield’s forwards and midfielders dominated the field throughout the game and took more than their share of shots, with Vogt and Maggie Tydings utilizing their height and speed to outrun defenders, Caroline Carpenter, Grace Knight, and Mia Burch playing an incredibly aggressive yet clean game, and Katie Parker absolutely controlling the ball on quick, smart passes and tricky shots. Yet the Rhinos’ goalie somehow got to each ball.
Taft’s incredible luck held as they scored on two more breakaways, though Deerfield’s defensive line and midfielders worked relentlessly: Sarah Wright and Catalina Llorente spent most of the game hammering long balls away from the Deerfield goalmouth and deep into Rhino territory, Annabelle Mauri and Chelsea Egu demonstrated tremendous tactical efficiency in stealing the ball from Taft players, and Hope Smith, Dominique Whitney, and Anna Harvey forced Rhino dribblers looking for a path to goal far towards the sidelines.
All in all, despite a 3-1 loss, the squad walked away proud of themselves for having played an intense, smart, sportsmanlike game and keeping cool heads in the face of fire. The TRIumphs will doubtlessly up their game during the next four days of practice before playing Northfield Mount Hermon away on Friday at 4:30 p.m.