Blair boys’ varsity soccer defeats Wheaton

Oct. 1, 2021, 11:19 a.m. | By Jackie Wang | 2 years, 7 months ago

The Blazers beat the Wheaton Knights by one goal (3-2) in a difficult match

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Blazers (0-2-1) dominated a close game (4-3) against the Wheaton Knights (0-2). The Blazers and Knights battled throughout, but Blair was able to maintain majority possession for the entire game. 

The game kicked off with a strong offense from both teams. With just 10 minutes in, the Knights took their chance and scored on the Blazers, in a clean and well-timed goal. Wheaton, from one side, sent a pass that soared through the air. As a Knight raced down the field, the Blair defense tried to catch up to the Knight, but it was too late; the Knights tapped the ball in from the penalty box, rising just out of the goalie's reach.   

The Blazers took the lesson and did not let it dampen their spirits, taking on more tactful offensive plays. Blair's midfielder and team captain Christian Johnson dribbled through Wheaton’s tough defense three times, assisting multiple attempts to score. Additionally, 30 minutes into the game, Blazers Brandon Gutierrez Lopez and Hernan Guzman Vasquez made attempts to score. Again, Wheaton's goalie caught both of these attempts. 

While Blair led the number of attempts to score, Wheaton managed to score from the 20-yard line with less than three minutes remaining in the first half. The Blair goalie jumped to try and hit out the ball, but to no avail. 

During halftime, the Blazers refused to give up, regardless of the Knights' seemingly daunting 2-point lead. Coach John Haigh shared this confidence, stating that they would take the game back. “I am very happy with where we are at, how they’re playing. We’re dominating possession, shots on goals, chances, setplays, corner kicks,” Haigh said. “There isn’t a single aspect of the game we’re not winning, except the score.”  

Into the second half, the Blazers picked up speed and began to dominate the field. 10 minutes into the second half, defender Joao Gonzalez scored Blair’s first goal near the six-yard line with an assist from midfielder Franklin Reyes. Spirits soared and the Blazers kept the momentum going. Evidently, Blair was on a roll as just six minutes later, midfielder Dalton Reyes scored a goal within the penalty box.

After that, both teams kept up solid defenses. Still, the Blazers held onto their majority possession time and played more offensively while the Knights played more defensively. Despite this, almost 40 minutes into the second half, the Knights avoided Blair's defense and scored by arcing the ball in from the side, assisted with a brilliant pass that travelled 30 yards across the field. Again, Blair's goalie leapt up to save the goal but the ball passed right through his fingertips. 

The Blazers fought hard to even the score as the clock ticked down.. With only 1 minute and 13 seconds left, Wheaton hand-balled in the penalty box, giving Blair an opportunity to score with a penalty kick. The atmosphere was tense as Johnson took it for Blair, but he scored easily, tapping it in to bring the score to a tie.

During overtime, the Blazers attempted to score multiple times, with Reyes’s shot missing the goal by just a few inches from the crossbar. Finally, around 9 minutes in, Johnson dribbled the ball down the field, then swiftly maneuvered through four of the Knight's defenders to score. The crowd was deafening with applause for Johnson's second goal of the night, which effectively ended the game with a score of 4-3. 

Blair’s top scorer of the night and captain was very pleased with his team’s performance. “I feel good, it was a good game and we all played well,” Johnson said. “We started slow, but then we started to build and we got our group together at the end.”

The Blazers will play their next home game against the Paint Branch Panthers at 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 6. 

Last updated: Oct. 25, 2021, 7:12 p.m.

Tags: #soccer #blazer #blazersports #boys' soccer

Jackie Wang. Staff writer More »

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