Defending state champs edge Blazers 1-0 in first round of playoffs
OCT 23, QUINCE ORCHARD HIGH SCHOOL-
On this frigid night, there were a lot of tears frozen to cheeks as the Blazers lost, 1-0, to the Quince Orchard (QO) Cougars in the first round of the county playoffs. Blair could hardly have had a worse draw--tourney drawings are random--in the first round than QO, the defending state champions. But the girls fought as hard as they have all year, playing the Cougars to a 0-0 tie after a defensive lapse in the second minute let in the game's lone goal.
The teams were astoundingly even throughout the game, although the chill slowed everything down and made the play on both sides much sloppier than usual. Blair outshot QO, but every strike was either way wide or directly at the Cougar goalie. The Blazers' finishing has been a weak point all season.
In some aspects of the game, Blair actually improved over its performance during the regular season, most notably in the number of balls it won in the air. Defensively Blair performed very well, stopping the Cougars time and again throughout the final 78 minutes of play. And when the QO forwards did manage to break through, senior co-captain and goalkeeper Erika Pelz-Butler took up the slack and stuffed several dangerous Cougar breaks.
The offense was its usual aggressive, unable-to-capitalize self. QO's defense did an outstanding job of smothering Blair's speedy forwards against the sidelines and up the middle.
Coach Robert Gibb commented that the game was a pretty clear microcosm of the entire fall. "It was our season in a nutshell," he said. "We played great, but a glitch here and a mistake there lost us the game."
Gibb gave a quiet speech of thanks to his players and to the crowd of loyal Blazer parents and siblings who gathered around the bench after the game, consoling his players and leaving them with an upbeat message about the year. "We had a good season, a good group of seniors, and a team with a lot of heart. We don't always get it done, but they try their best and as a coach that's all you can ask."
Luke Bostian. Luke Bostian is a senior in CAP and has nothing much to say for himself. Well, actually, that's a lie. Luke has a lot to say for himself and says it all the time. So he won't bore you with it. Suffice it to say … More »