Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 1, 2006

Sherwood smokes Blazers

by Ethan Kuhnhenn, Online Managing Editor
The Blair boys' lacrosse team lost their sixth straight on April 27, falling 11-5 to the Sherwood Warriors in a game that featured fleeting glimpses of a cohesive and productive Blair offense, but again was decided by defensive breakdowns and a lack of shots for Blair.

After an early Sherwood goal, Blair tightened up on defense and played a close first quarter, which was highlighted by goals from senior Josh Henkei and junior Patrick McQuighan. McQuighan's goal came with a little over a minute left, after the shifty midfielder scooped up a loose ball 15 yards out and raced into a one-on-one situation with the Sherwood keeper.

Momentum seemed to be on Blair's side as the crowd erupted after the goal equalized the game at two. However, a Sherwood goal early in the second quarter opened the floodgates for a four-goal period and erased any momentum that Blair had gained with the late goals in the first. Sherwood put on the pressure in the second and, as their nerves began to settle, ran set plays that resulted in numerous shot opportunities.

Costly turnovers also plagued Blair during the second quarter, especially on several occasions when Sherwood players were able to pick-off long-pole throws downfield. In one case, an intercepted pass by a Sherwood forward led to an easy one-on-one situation with junior goalkeeper Robbie Ginsberg. Sherwood capitalized on the opportunity for their fifth goal of the game and Blair was left shaking their heads, hoping that the half-time horn would sound sooner rather than later.

Blair came out strong in the third quarter, limiting the Warriors to only one goal and scoring one themselves in the period. While the Warriors still dominated possession, the Blazer defense was more aggressive at contesting shots. The tight defense also led to more shot opportunities on the offensive end, especially during fast breaks after Sherwood turnovers. After Sherwood scored on a set-play in the fifth minute, Blair responded two minutes later with a goal of their own. Junior co-captain Nick Mozer scored on an acrobatic play after sprinting around the Sherwood defense, jumping above a defender and finishing with a blast from about five yards out.

Entering the fourth only down four goals, a win seemed attainable for the Blazers, especially after a strong third quarter. However, Sherwood opened the fourth quarter by scoring in the 11th minute, and then sealed the deal with goals two and three minutes later.

Again, the lack of shots, even when there were scoring opportunities, hurt the Blazers in a game where the Warriors out-shot them 40-20. Coach Robert Gibb has repeatedly preached taking advantage of shot opportunities. The bottom line says Gibb, is that you don't score if you don't shoot and "you don't win games that way."

Ginsberg also said that the team rushed their offense, setting up plays that only resulted in turnovers. "When we got the ball on offense we had a few plays and then they cleared the ball," he said.

The Blazers also spent nearly a quarter of the game a man down, thanks to eight minutes of penalties. While Gibb questioned at least two of the calls, he admitted that the lack of discipline "hurt" and that all of the time in the penalty box "turned the game around."

The Blazers will look to pick up their first win in over a month tomorrow at Northwest.



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