Boys' lacrosse easily triumphs in home opener
BLAZER STADIUM, March 24 -
After the rain cancellation of their first game against Whitman on Monday, Blair's boys' varsity lacrosse team (1 - 0) kicked off their season by defeating Kennedy (0 - 1) 7 - 2. Equipped with a clean slate and distinct confidence, the team broke in their home field with a smooth and sound win.
Blair's pathway to victory was determined early on, as the team finished the first half with a strong 5 - 1 lead. Less than a minute into the first quarter, junior co-captain Vishnu Rao scored a goal and was followed by seniors Alejandro Newell and Otis Banwell, each of whom broke through Kennedy's defense with ease.
The Blazers' dominance continued in the second quarter, as sophomore Sean Reilly displayed remarkable agility by scoring two goals with a skillful assist by junior Paul Kovar. Blair's consistently tough defense kept the Cavaliers' offense weak; Kennedy senior Karl Saliente scored the only Cavaliers goal of the second quarter.
While Saliente managed to score again in the third quarter, Kennedy's subsequent efforts were persistent but futile. Blair junior Gudong Fu made another goal in the third quarter, assisted by Rao, which led to a fourth quarter in which the Cavaliers' aggression caused sloppiness and several penalties. With five minutes left in the game, Banwell sealed off the Blazers' success with a final goal, after which Kennedy attempted only failed shots.
Junior co-captain goalie Kit Durban, who had a total of eight saves throughout the game, said that Kennedy's shaky offense helped bolster Blair's powerful defense. Durban also noted that the Cavaliers only had about two strong attackers, which helped him fend off shots more easily. "If they had maybe one more good [player] they would have had a much more functional offense," Durban said. Fu added that Kennedy's general lack of power allowed the Blazers to drive harder. "They didn't pressure us much on the defense," he said.
Aside from strength and strategy on the field, Blair's positive attitude contributed to their winning mentality. According to head coach Bob Gibb, Kennedy had only defeated Blair once in boys' varsity lacrosse history. "We've had a lot of success against them in the past," he said. Rao expressed that this advantage allowed the team to play without concern. "We went out there knowing we were going to win," Rao said.
Gibb felt that the victory served as motivation for the team. "All around it was a good start for the season," he said. Gibb also said that while Blair had its weaknesses, he is positive about the team's ability to grow and strengthen. "We have a lot to work and improve upon, but that's what a season is for," he said.
The Blazers' next home game is Wednesday, April 14 against Springbrook at 7 p.m.
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