APR 10, MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL --
Tonight, in their second home game of the season, the Blazers stuck with, but were overpowered by a strong Churchill squad, 12-8.
Juniors Beth Gula and Mairead Hunter led the attack with three goals each, but a balanced Churchill scoring unit ultimately broke down the Blazer defense.
Extremely strong efforts by both defenses characterized the first half. The Blazers were much more organized than usual on offense stringing together a number of pretty plays.
It took 13 minutes for Churchill to take the first lead of the game but Hunter and Gula both promptly responded with unassisted efforts. The Bulldogs then struck back with two of their own. Sophomore defensive wing Lauren Finkel converted on a penalty shot to tie the score at three with 36 seconds left in the half.
Twelve seconds into the second half Hunter struck again after receiving a feed from Finkel. Churchill came back a minute later and knotted the score at four. Gula broke through the defense and bounced a shot past the Churchill goalkeeper.
Probably one of the prettiest efforts of the night followed when senior attack Robin Zhao took possession behind the cage, drove her defender around it, stopped on a dime, and rolled inside for the perfect shot that put her Blazers up 6-4.
Churchill struck back less than thirty seconds later with an unassisted effort that broke the defense's back. The Bulldogs then maintained a long possession and got a number of shots including one that dinged the post. A penalty gave the Bulldogs a fan shot that they easily converted to tie the score up at six.
Gula put her Blazers up again with an unassisted effort that came after several possession changes.
Again the Bulldogs gained possession off the draw and kept it. A great save by junior goaltender Anna Benfield was thrown away when the Blazer defense failed to take care of the rebound, and the Churchill attacker cashed in the garbage goal to put her squad up 8-7. Another foul shot increased the Bulldog lead to 9-7.
Coming off a timeout the Blazers converted their last goal of the night when Finkel dodged behind the cage, drew the double team, and dished it off to an open Hunter who calmly finished it to bring her Blazers within one.
The Bulldogs then managed to eat chunks of time off the clock and frustrate the Blazers with long possessions. A Churchill score with a little over seven minutes left put the game a little further out of reach for the Blazers. Another two followed in the closing minutes, as Churchill took the hard fought contest 12-8.
Benfield once again kept her team in the game, registering 14 saves in the contest.
The Blazers, who now drop to 3-3 on the season, will travel to Wootton High School on Mar 23. Churchill improves to 3-2 and will face Sherwood High School at Sherwood on the 23rd as well. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m.
|Score by Half||1||2||Final|
Blair Goals: Beth Gula (3), Mairead Hunter (3), Lauren Finkel, Robin Zhao
Blair Assists: Lauren Finkel (2)
Blair Goalies: Anna Benfield (14 saves, 60 minutes)
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 »