Lady Blazers lose third playoff game to Barons, 3-2
BLAZER STADIUM, Nov. 4 -
The girls' varsity soccer team (12-5) lost an intense semifinal playoff match to the defending state champions, the Bethesda Chevy Chase (B-CC) Barons (13-2-1), by a score of 3-2. Although Blair took an early lead, the team was unable to bounce back after the Barons outscored them in the second half.
The Lady Blazers started with a two-goal lead going into halftime, but the Barons were able to score three goals in the second half and take the lead. Co-captain and defender Sana Barclay attributed the Blair loss to the team's anxious play during pivotal moments of the game. "We beat ourselves," she said. "We should have done a better job of keeping our composure and not panicking."
The Barons received an opportunity for a corner kick with less than four minutes reaming in the game. The score was tied at 2-2 at that point, and B-CC took a decisive lead with a header high into the Blazer goal. Head coach Robert Gibb believed that the Barons' experience with playing close games is what ultimately facilitated their success. "B-CC had a lot of confidence and they came out strong in the second half," he said.
Blair's initial lead began when junior forward Jamie Kator drew a penalty outside of the Baron goal. Her attempt at a free kick was successful and put the Blazers up by one goal twenty minutes into the game. Senior co-captain Sofia Read scored the second Blazer goal with seven minutes left in the first half. After beating several B-CC defenders to the ball, Read's shot bounced off of Baron goalkeeper Angela White's hip and and into the goal.
Kator explained that the Blazer lead was a huge confidence booster going into halftime. "We have never scored first while playing B-CC," she said. "It was a great momentum changer and a big lifter for us."
Coming out of halftime, the Barons were eager to attack immediately. Junior goalkeeper Lena Meyerson saved two Baron shots three minutes into the second half. The Barons scored their first goal 24 minutes into play when senior midfielder Victoria Gersh successfully shot the ball past Meyerson during a B-CC corner kick. Junior Hannah Levin scored the second Baron goal 12 minutes later after an assist from freshman Eliza Doll.
Gibb commended the Barons on their exceptional ball movement and sense of urgency when they needed to score. "For a while we couldn't get the ball away from our goal," he said. "B-CC was very persistent and it was only a matter of time until they scored."
But even after the loss, Gibb was proud of the team for having such a successful season. "We scored a total of 69 goals during the season, which is a team record," he said. "It is disappointing to lose so many great senior leaders, but this loss will allow us to learn from our mistakes."
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