Ezan Scores Four in Taconic Boys' Win
CHESHIRE, Mass. -- After dominating most of the match on Saturday morning at Hoosac Valley, the Taconic boys soccer team found itself clinging to a one-goal lead and watching the Hurricanes enjoy all the momentum.
In the 52nd minute, Taconic coach Luke Chambers called his timeout and called his Thunder to the sideline to regroup.
Seven minutes later, Ezra Ezan scored his fourth goal of the game to give Taconic a 4-2 lead en route to a 6-2 victory as the Thunder stayed unbeaten at 3-0-1 this fall.
"Concentration, focus," Chambers said of his message to the team during that timeout. "I think the game became a little bit too easy. And our lack of focus cost us and brought them back into the game. And it made it a closer game than what it should have been.
"I think the timeout worked perfectly, and I think it got them refocused, and then they got that next goal and just built on that."
Ezan had a natural hat trick in the first half, giving Taconic a 3-0 lead in the 37th minute.
The Thunder could have had an even bigger lead if not for the play of Hurricanes keeper Wesley Emerson, who made 10 of his 18 saves in the first 40 minutes.
"The first half, I think we played really well," Ezan said. "The communication was on point. Overall, we could have had better parts where we could have passed the ball quicker. But, besides that, we played really well.
"And I got the goals, too, so I'm happy with that."
His first goal came with an assist from Luke Murphy, who sent Ezan in deep on the left wing in the sixth minute. Nine minutes and a number of Taconic scoring opportunities passed before Ezan scored his second, this time with help from George Aboua.
With 3 minutes, 31 seconds left in the half, Ezan took a through ball at the edge of the 18 and carried it in against a Hoosac Valley defender before beating Emerson to make it 3-0 as his teammates yelled "hat trick" from the sideline.
The celebration was short-lived. The Hurricanes surprised Taconic with a goal less than a minute later when Dylan Rohlfs converted an Ian Godfrey cross from the left wing.
Hoosac Valley then opened the second half with a goal by David Scholz that appeared to defelect off a defender and past Taconic keeper Timmy Parsons (two saves).
At the other end, Emerson continued to play strong, keeping Taconic off the board nearly half of the second half.
"Wes is a monster," Hoosac Valley coach Patrick Mahoney said. "We had a tournament up in Vermont to start our pre-season, and I hadn't seen him play in a year or two. And the first time I saw him come out and just eat one with the body, it was like, 'OK, we have a goalkeeper on our hands.' "
Ezan righted the ship for Taconic with a goal to finish a run on the right wing in the 59th minute.
With 8:05 on the clock, Murphy converted a cross from Ethan O'Donnell to make it 5-1. And with fewer than four minutes to play, Reynoldo Castro, who did most of his damage as a facilitator, headed in a rebound to give Taconic its final goal.
"Reynoldo, I feel, technically is one of the best players in the league," Chambers said. "So in this position, him working with Ezra, we created a lot more chances, and it's just being clinical now to finish."
Taconic hosts Pioneer Valley Christian Academy on Monday.
Hoosac Valley (3-2) goes to Putnam Voc on Monday.
The young Hurricane squad will make the trip knowing that they showed some resilience against a favored opponent.
“That was really the message after the match: Tough result in the end, but I think most teams that go down 3-0 to those guys do not come back and get it to 3-2 and make it a game,” Mahoney said. “They should be proud of themselves for that.
“It’s also a very inexperienced group we’ve got. I think I have five starting freshmen. So they’re learning as they go along. It was great to fight back, and we’re looking to just keep improving as we go along.”
Video: Taconic’s Ezra Ezan talks about the team’s 3-0-1 start after scoring four goals at Hoosac Valley on Saturday morning.
Video: Taconic’s Ezra Ezan scores one of his four goals in Saturday’s win at Hoosac Valley.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Wesley Emerson makes one of his 18 saves in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Taconic.
Video: Taconic’s Luke Murphy scores with an assist from Ethan O’Donnell in Saturday’s win at Hoosac Valley.