Silver Chips Online

Lady Blazers stick it to Blue Devils

Blair girls' lacrosse demolishes Springbrook, 18-7

By Deepa Chellappa, Online Editor-in-Chief
March 29, 2009
BLAZER STADIUM, March 27 -

On Friday afternoon, the Blair girls' lacrosse team offered a clear bargain to fans: two games for the price of one ticket. Though the Lady Blazers (2-1) eventually triumphed against the rival Springbrook Blue Devils, 18-7, it took nearly half the match for the girls to find their groove, leading to a tale of two halves.

"It was really close in the first half," head coach Michael Horne said, explaining the lopsided contest. "But we won the second half 11-1…and I was happy they turned it around."

Early on in the first half, frequent ball drops plagued the Lady Blazers and allowed the Blue Devils to gain extra possessions. This initial hesitance and lack of coordination in the attack left defensive players under constant pressure, as the Blue Devils surrounded the goal and passed back and forth between their players, patiently waiting out the Blazer defenders and goalie.

Time and time again, the Blue Devils' maneuvers outlasted the Blazer defenders in the first half, enabling Springbrook to match every one of Blair's goals. "Our transition started out not so good," senior co-captain Vanessa Hoy said of the team's opening plays. "We need to know how to come out strong and intense in the beginning."

Springbrook's tight defense proved to be an obstacle for the Blazers in the first half as well. In several instances, Hoy cradled the ball close to her as she weaved in and out of the Blue Devil defenders but was ultimately thwarted by the goalie.

The majority of Blair's points in the first half came from aggressive assaults by Hoy, senior co-captain Susie Branson and junior Nellie Garlow. After receiving an exceptional pass from senior goalie Katelyn Luker in the final minutes of the first half, Branson charged straight towards the goal to score the Blazers' last point of the half. Branson was a force throughout the game, racking up 10 of the Blazers' 18 goals. Still, halftime saw the Blazers with only a 7-6 lead.

The second half was a different game altogether. The Blazers owned the field and were in complete control of the ball due to seamless pass sequences and a powerful showing by junior Molly Branson, who repeatedly won face-offs at midfield to give Blair multiple scoring chances. Even the few times the Blue Devils got the ball past midfield, Luker was too powerful for even their best-placed shots, allowing only one goal past her during the entire second half.

After the first 25 minutes of the game, the Blazers also learned to help each other, quickly scooping up balls dropped by fellow team members to make attempts at the goal and prevent the ball from changing hands. Ultimately, Blair's offensive players gave Springbrook a taste of their own medicine, spreading out around the goal and patiently passing the ball back and forth until an opening presented itself.

Horne remarked that if the Lady Blazers could continue playing as they did in the second half, they would have a very successful season. "When we play our game up to our potential, we're just as good as any other school in the county," Horne said. "We've got to be all cylinders firing. We can't have lapses and give the teams opportunities."

Hoy noted that timing is key for the Blazers' next matches against Kennedy and Blake. "We were able to pick it up in the second half," she acknowledged. "But if we don't come out strong from the beginning, it'll be too late, especially with tougher teams."

The Blazers' next home game is Thursday, April 16 against Paint Branch at 7:00 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9047