Blair varsity field hockey picks up 7-0 win over Northwood
BLAZER FIELD, Oct. 15 -
The Blair field hockey team (5-6) triumphed over the Northwood Gladiators on Wednesday, combining in the offensive third to score seven goals in a decisive 7-0 senior night victory. The Lady Blazers dominated the entire game, controlling possession at midfield and distributing the ball wide to create scoring opportunities in the shooting circle.
Head coach Brooke Franceschini was thrilled with the win. "We finally worked together as a team," she said. "We struggled the last three games – we lost by one point. But we started scoring today."
The Blazers brought intensity from the opening whistle, stringing together a series of passes that penetrated the Gladiator defensive line. Senior co-captain Julia Stratton and senior Sonya Kaufman hit strong balls down the sidelines to Blair forwards after forcing turnovers in the midfield with their aggressive play. Stratton, in particular, showed impressive stick skills, deftly cutting around defenders with unparalleled speed and precision. Early in the first half, Stratton scored the first goal by finishing off a ball knocked across the mouth of the cage by sophomore Janet Henkai.
Blair's second goal came when junior Lily Alexander drove the ball down the left sideline and sent a cross to Stratton, who fired a well-placed shot into the cage. Soon after the second goal, senior Adelaide Waldrop took possession of the ball at midfield and sent a pass wide to senior Jenna Craver. Unchallenged by Gladiator defenders, Craver advanced the ball down the entire length of the field and pounded a shot into the cage, bringing the score to 3-0.
The Blazers' final goal of the half was scored following a corner play. Senior Neva Bowers stole the ball from a Gladiator defender and sent it wide to Waldrop, who redirected the ball to Kaufman. After driving around defenders in the circle, Kaufman sent a rapid-fire pass to Stratton, who hammered the ball into the cage to put the finishing touch on a hat trick.
Stratton was pleased with her performance. "I was really excited – that was my goal for today," she said.
The Lady Blazers continued their confident assaults on the Northwood defensive line, but began to show signs of disorganization in the shooting circle as the half progressed. Clumping in front of the cage hindered many scoring attempts, according to Franceschini. "We dominated the whole half, but you are all clumping in the circle," she said in a half-time speech. "When there're four of you standing in front of the goalie, you can't score."
The Blazers' relentless attacking force permeated the Gladiator defense countless times in the second half, scoring three more goals before the final whistle sounded. After a quick score, the Lady Blazers showed their potent attacking force on a stunning passing combination. Sophomore Miranda Bernard gained possession of the ball outside the shooting circle and hammered a pass to junior forward Nellie Garlow, who quickly redirected the ball to junior Samantha Lint. Using momentum from her far post run, Lint pushed the ball into the cage for a decisive sixth goal. Alexander's second goal in the closing minutes of the second half was the culmination of an impressive team performance and brought the final score to 7-0.
Franceschini was delighted with her team's performance, but expressed concern for upcoming playoff games. "It's all starting to click," she said. "Our record doesn't show how good we are, but this is the climax of our season – getting ready for playoffs."
The Blazers' next home game is Friday, Oct. 17 against Springbrook at 3:30 p.m.
Lauren Kestner. Lauren Kestner loves Trader Joe's chocolates, cheesy television soap operas, summer trips to Lake Anna, coffee ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, hikes at Northwest Branch and shopping at Heritage. Playing soccer for Blair or her MSC club team and running at the gym consumes much … More »