An uneventful first half slowed Blazers down, but they managed to come out with a win
On Oct. 18, the Blair Blazers (10-1) faced the Clarksburg Coyotes (4-7) in an incredibly close game with a score of 2-0. Though the Blazers faced challenges in communication and a slow first half, the team stuck it out and managed to come out with a win.
Neither team scored in the first half of the match. Two minutes into the match, the Coyotes attempted to score a goal, but it was blocked by Blair's goalkeeper Danielle Kashkooli. Both teams used long passes across the field to move play into the offensive side, but the ball was quickly stolen by their opponent. Both Clarksburg and Blair athletes frequently kicked the ball outside sidelines to break the monotony of play to no avail. The teams controlled play in the center of the field in equal amounts, and Blazers were not able to achieve an upper hand.
After a long halftime meeting, the Blazers returned to the field with a renewed sense of determination. In the second half, Clarksburg players were playing a faster game, but the Blazers had no difficulty in keeping up. Blair players lobbed more passes towards the end of the game, and they were significantly better at retaining possession of the ball. With 25 minutes remaining, multiple Blair players were in the goal area, with a close shot at a goal. But quickly, a group of Clarksburg players was able to outnumber Blair’s offensive players and bring the ball back to the center. A few minutes later, however, strikers Simone Hargrove and Ellie Cardillo worked together to score Blair’s first goal. Hargrove drove the ball down the field, as Northwest defensive players failed to cover their goal area. She swiftly passed the ball to Cardillo, who was able to kick the ball into the corner of the net.
The game picked up quickly after this, proving just how important it is to get goals in as early as possible. “We started off slow. I don’t think we were completely focused on our warmup. But it came together. After we got our first goal, we got our momentum,” Hargrove said. Soon after, with only 6 minutes remaining in the game, striker Ellie Cardillo, assisted by Hargorve, scored the final goal of the game.
The Blazers emerged victorious, but they will definitely have to step up their game in order to keep their winning streak strong. Sophomore Bia Da Silva, a Blair midfielder, echoed this sentiment. “I felt like we didn’t have much possession throughout the whole game, and we weren’t connecting our passes as well as we usually do,” Da Silva said. The flat first half forced players to frantically attempt last-minute goals during the second half, and it did not allow for a comfortable score margin. However, the Blazers are determined to stay focused and keep training hard to make sure their next game has a stellar first half.
The Blazers will play their next home game against the Northwest Jaguars on Friday, Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Maya Britto. Hey, I'm Maya (she/her). I'm a staff writer here at SCO. I'm passionate about social justice, music, dance, food, quality time with my friends, ice cream (but strictly vanilla), and good bad jokes. Stay cool, y'all. :) More »