Blazers take three quarters to get going in season opener
In the last quarter of play tonight, the Blair boys' lacrosse team pulled out a suspenseful comeback 8-7 win against a much weaker Kennedy High School squad.
The Cavaliers, who are now 0-5 all time versus Blair, certainly gave the Blazers a fight tonight. Blair did not find the lead until midway through the fourth quarter when senior midfielder Justin Craver intercepted a clearing pass and took it in for an open net goal.
The Blazers were shocked in the first minute of play when a Kennedy attackman took the ball to the cage unassisted to put his Cavaliers (0-2), up 1-0. The Cavaliers struck again twice, both unassisted efforts, before the end of the quarter, leaving the Blazers (1-0), down 3-0.
Senior attackman John Selby took control of the second quarter and capitalized twice in a row on man up opportunities. Kennedy struck back from the restraining line with an unassisted screen shot that snuck past sophomore goaltender Chris Zaldivar, who tonight earned his first varsity start.
Junior midfielder Keith Larkin brought the Blazers back within one with a bounce shot in traffic. But before the half, the Cavaliers jumped out to a 5-3 lead with an unassisted attempt in an unsettled situation.
Senior midfielder Noah Pierce struck first in the second half with a beautiful end-to-end effort, and brought his Blazers within one again. The Cavaliers responded with another goal from the restraining line.
The Blair man down unit saw considerable action in the third quarter and killed off the majority of Kennedy attempts. The Cavaliers managed to capitalize on one attempt however increasing their lead to 7-4, but it proved to be their last goal of the night.
The Cavaliers fell apart in the closing third of the game as the Blazers took advantage of man-up opportunities and made sure their season opener did not slip away. After a Kennedy own goal, Selby converted while two men up on a beautiful outside shot that snuck beneath the Cavalier goaltender.
Selby muscled his way through the Cavalier defense to tie the game at seven with seven minutes left in the game. With less than four minutes left, Craver gave the Blazers their first lead, and sealed the game with his unassisted effort.
Key last minute stops by a seasoned Blazer defense kept the lead in tact as the Blazers went on to earn their first win of the season.
Fifth year head coach Bob Gibb knew his team was capable of much more, but was satisfied with the win. "It took us three quarters to get things going, but a win is a win," he said.
The Blazers travel to Gaithersburg High School Friday March 28. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.
Lincoln Fischer. Senior sports writer Lincoln Fischer was born in Manhattan, New York on May 1st 1985. He presently lives in Takoma Park with his mother, father and sister. His father, Craig, is an editor for Pace Publications, which produces a number of newsletters related to criminal … More »