UPLAND, Ind. – In its final tune-up before the beginning of Crossroads League play, Taylor men's soccer was off and running Wednesday in a 6-0 dismantling of Lawrence Tech.
The game was seemingly out of reach for the Blue Devils at halftime, as the Trojan offense exploded for four goals in the opening 45 minutes of play.
Senior Tim Daniels opened the scoring early in the third minute, scoring in an unusual fashion to put the Trojans ahead. As the Lawrence Tech goalkeeper Joey Knoff received a back pass and attempted to clear the ball up field, Daniels gave chase and found a way to block the clearance right back into the Blue Devil net.
"Tim comes in and within the first two minutes, makes a hustle play and gets the goal off the deflection," said head coach Gary Ross. "It was absolutely fantastic."
Lewis Nisbet was the next Trojan to follow suit with a goal in the 27th minute, knocking home a rebound off Knoff's save on a great shot by Nathan West. Nisbet's first collegiate goal put the Trojans up 2-0.
There was a late flurry for Taylor in the final five minutes of the half, as Caleb Bouchier blasted a shot into the back of the net from about 18 yards out. Minutes later, Bouchier recorded an assist on a corner kick to freshman Gabe Saliba, who headed home an acrobatic attempt with just 16 seconds on the clock.
The second half was more of the same, with Lawrence Tech rarely finding possession of the ball with Taylor controlling the run of play. Nisbet added another in the 51st minute, taking a square-ball from Daniels along the goal line and touching it past Knoff. Danny Cawley was also credited with the second assist in a play that displayed pinpoint passing to break down the Blue Devil defense.
The final tally was deemed to be an own goal, as Cawley escaped the defense to fire a shot that caromed off the goalpost and deflected off a reeling defender.
Taylor had 19 shots, while Lawrence Tech had just three. Michael Williams earned the shutout win in net for the Trojans.
Taylor (5-3, 0-0 CL) will next play in its Crossroads League opener Saturday at home against Bethel. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.
"The Crossroads League is always contested," adds Ross. "No matter who you play, it's going to be a hard battle. I think this is just great momentum going in (to Crossroads play), but we'll have our work cut out for us, there are a lot of good teams. We're going to have to be disciplined and we're going to have to get better. There were some really good things that we did tonight, but there are also some things to get better at moving forward."