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Oct. 4, 2008

Blazers lose battle to Barons

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor
BLAZER FIELD, Oct. 3 -

After having their third home game rescheduled due to rain, the varsity field hockey team geared up and stepped back onto their home field to take on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons on Friday. Unable to muster up enough intensity or aggression early in the game, the Blazers (4-3-0) lost to the Barons, 7-0.

The game started off badly for the Blazers as powerful hits from the Barons quickly drove the ball toward the Blazer cage. Things got worse for the Blazers as hard hits from both teams caused injuries to key players junior center midfielder Lily Alexander and sophomore center defender Janet Henkai. Using their speed and fierce drives, the Barons were able to score three goals on the Blazers early in the first half.

After a time out in the middle of the first half, the Blazers shifted their game plan, bringing in JV junior goalie Annie Buckley to step in for senior co captain Katelyn Luker. However, it seemed that the energy of both teams was too much to contain within the boundaries of the field as play after play was plagued by balls pushed out of bounds. Shouts of "somebody's got to want the ball," from head coach Brook Franceschini filled the air as the Blazers struggled to defend their goal.

Before the end of the first half, the Barons were able to hammer another three goals into the Blazer cage, bringing the score to 6-0. The lackluster aggression of the Blair team in the first half had a large impact on the game, according to senior co-captain Julia Stratton. "We weren't going for the ball like we needed to," Stratton said.

The Blazers played the second half of the game with a new intensity, stepping up their game to rival the aggression of the Barons. The Blazer offense came back stronger as the ball was constantly carried down the field to the Barons' cage by seniors Stratton, Rachel Passman and junior left forward Nellie Garlow. The Blazer defense also formed a strong opposition to their opponents, as Buckley and junior defender Laura Li rejected goal attempts by B-CC. "We're connecting better," Stratton said. "We're learning each player's strength and it'll get better with time."

Senior Sonya Kaufman and sophomore defender Blake Morgan-Gambler exhibited the stronger team dynamic through forceful hits and strong drives down the field. "We got really focused and wanted to prove that we could play up to them," Kaufman said.

Unfortunately for the Blazers, their newfound inspiration was not enough to win the game. The Barons snuck in one final goal during the second half, bringing the end score to 7-0. Despite the loss, Franceschini was proud of the difference between the first and second half. "After the first half, we made minor adjustments and we stepped our game up," Franceschini said.

The Blazers take on the Paint Branch Panthers in their next game and both Franceschini and the team realize the changes they need to make and are optimistic about the rest of their season.

"We're not scoring enough and we work on that every practice," Franceschini said. "We just need to start clicking."

The Blazers' next home game is Oct 7 against Churchill at 3:30.

"Editor's note: Lily Alexander is a junior staff writer on Silver Chips."

"Editor's note: Laura Li is a member of Silver Chips Business staff."

"Editor's note: Annie Buckley is a junior staff writer on Silver Chips."



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