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Nov. 1, 2005

Blazers hold off Hornets in 2-1 overtime thriller

by Ethan Kuhnhenn, Online Managing Editor
Blair's boys' varsity soccer team defeated the Damascus Swarming Hornets 2-1 in the first round of the playoffs Friday night.

Blair showed depth and determination after falling behind 1-0 in the second half only to equalize the game near the end of regulation and then score the winning goal in sudden-death overtime. The victory means that Blair will face the Churchill Bulldogs at Churchill in the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday night.

Blair, which had lost to Damascus 1-0 in a regular season game, needed a win in order to advance to the second round. The Swarming Hornets scored first shortly after half time on a header off of a cross deep in Blair territory. The Blazers responded with a goal from senior Captain Mac Kpadeh with a little more than ten minutes left in the game. Blair played solid soccer during the rest of regulation but was unable to put the undermanned (the Hornets only played with ten players due to a red card earlier in the game) Damascus squad away. With the score tied at 1-1, both teams headed into an overtime period.

In the fourth minute of the ten-minute overtime period, senior midfielder Bereket Abebe found the ball loose in the Damascus box and powered a shot into the back of the net, ending the game and Damascus' hopes of advancing.

The playoff victory was a first for coach Adrian Baez and reflected the success that the Blair varsity squad had when the main core of players led 2003's JV squad to an undefeated season.

Note: Blair entered the first round with a record of 10-4 and was coming off a five-game win streak that was highlighted by last Tuesday's victory over 12-2 Walter Johnson.



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