Blair varsity field hockey overwhelmed by offensive pressure
Blair varsity field hockey (3-9-1) exhausted all of their efforts against the Bethesda Chevy-Chase Barons (9-4) last Thursday, but ultimately lost 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs. It was an intense game, with a lot of close chances for both sides to win the match.
The game was fast paced from the get go. B-CC took control of the ball at the start, and managed to keep it in Blair's half. The Blazers struggled to get the ball up the field and worked together to try and defend the goal. Fifteen minutes in, B-CC broke through Blair's defense for the first score of the game. At one point in the first half senior midfielder Sabrina Zhou was able to get a shot off, but the Barons goalie knocked it down.
The rest of the first half consisted of possession turnovers. Senior attacker Maddie Boyer was able to steal the ball from B-CC, only to have it intercepted. She attempted to play from the wings and pass to her teammates. Unfortunately, Blair was overtaken by B-CC repeatedly. "We were short numbered today. We had some injuries and some people were gone," Coach Candy Thurman said.
The center pass from the beginning of the second half went straight to the Blair side. B-CC had possession of the ball until senior midfielder Anna Reachmack gained possession and made a back pass to senior midfielder Leah Messina, who passed it back to Reachmack. B-CC intercepted and sent the ball straight down the field to Blair's side. Only 4 minutes in, Blair decided to heighten their defensive tactics.
Twenty minutes in, B-CC made an attempt to shoot. The Blazers crowded around the goal and helped junior goalkeeper Talia Stern to block the ball. Messina stole the ball from B-CC and passed to Soler. She took the ball all the way down the field in one swift and smooth action. Soler made an attempt to shoot, but the ball was blocked by the B-CC goalie.
Midway through the second half, the Blazers scrambled around Blair's goal and blocked B-CC. B-CC was awarded a penalty, but senior midfielder Anna Hukill took control and made a swift pass to sophomore Lea Watkins-Chow. B-CC came out of nowhere and took the ball. They drove the ball down the field, but overshot. B-CC was able to turn the momentum around only a few minutes later when they ran down the field and scored, extending their lead to 3-1.
There were many moments where Blazers were very close to making a goal. With twelve minutes left in the game, Zhou made an advance towards the goal, but the ball went past the net. Soler tried again, when Benyamin took control of the ball. She passed to senior Adina Rombro, who attempted to shoot twice. "I just thought that they played really well. We almost scored at the end and it could've been 3-2," Thurman said.
With only two minutes left, Reachmack made a hard drive towards the goal. Blair was awarded a penalty. She took the corner and passed to Benyamin. Benyamin attempted to shoot, but the ball went past the goal. Boyer ran towards the ball, and passed to Watkins-Chow. As time dwindled, the Blazers still kept running with the ball. They fought until the end. "They played their hearts out today and they've played really well as a team. I'm just really pleased," Thurman said.
"We had a losing record, but it's one of the best teams I've coached. They have a lot of skills, and we have had a lot of close games," Thurman said. "It's been an exciting season, and next year can expect to be the same.”
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