Blazers take defensive game 2-1 over their northern foes
In a slow moving first game of the season, the Blair field hockey team (1-0) was able to squeak out a 2-1 victory over the Watkins Mill Wolverines (0-1) on Friday afternoon. While the Blazers were not able to put many goals on the board, they did a much better job keeping the ball in opponent territory, biding their time for another goal.
The first half passed by uneventfully, with neither team scoring a goal. Although Blair had far more opportunities on goal, they were not able to capitalize on those chances in the crease to score their first goal of the season. Three chances slipped away, and the closest was with 16 minutes left in the first half, attacker Adeline McDonough snuck behind her defender into the crease but was not able to corral the cross from the left side of the field. McDonough's relentless attacking caused a lot of confusion among the Wolverine defenders.
Blair did not make it through the first half without a scare or two. With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, Watkins Mill drew a penalty corner, but Blair was able to prevent the goal from being scored. The rest of half was a back a forth game with no serious attacks from either team, which sent the game into halftime tied with no score.
After the half Blair retained the same attacking strategy, but it was complemented by good defensive stops early on in the half from Lea Watkins-Chow and Kendall Price. Then McDonough and midfielder Nika Seider went to work on the Wolverine defense. A cross from McDonough was corralled by Seider, but they could not finish for the first goal of the game. Two minutes later, McDonough's shot attempt forced a penalty. Blair set up to take the penalty and out of the skirmish Amy Nguyen emerged celebrating Blair's first goal of the game and season.
Blair's celebration did not last long as a minute later Watkins Mill put a ball past goalie Charlotte Cook for the equalizer. Cook did not allow another goal after that. The Blazers kept their heads up and looked to answer back before the game ended. "Once we got our goal, they scored right back so that was a little discouraging, but we wanted to win so we got together and got more comfortable," senior captain Nika Seider said.
Price made another great stop of defense and this time looked to make an impact on the offensive end as well. She received the ball inside the crease and tried to shove the ball into the goal,but came up empty. Her effort payed off two minutes later as the Blazers kept on the offensive, and freshman Olivia Scarano was waiting patiently for an easy put-back goal to give Blair the lead once again.
A final scare with six minutes remaining from the Watkins Mill offense gave the Blair defense something to worry about, but Cook made a great kick save to keep the ball out of the goal. Blair successfully kept Watkins Mill off the board the rest of the game and came away undefeated. "I think we're communicating really well and we've done a lot of conditioning so our defense was able to get back and stay strong the whole game," Seider said.
Benjamin Yokoyama. Baseball! More »