B-CC defeats girls's varsity soccer 1-2 in semi-finals
BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE, Nov. 5-
The girls' varsity soccer team (11-1) ended their season with a disheartening loss to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) Barons 1-2. Their skill and strategy matched that of the undefeated B-CC team, but spirits fell at the final whistle of the hard-fought game.
The revived energy of the Blazers filled the second half of the game. The girls led many strong offensive attacks that nearly resulted in goals. Kator and junior Sofia Read worked well together on offense, executing multiple plays that were ultimately thwarted by B-CC defense. Senior co-captain Imani Pierre anchored Blair's defense, making beautiful saves all over the field. Senior Elana Gold and senior co-captain Kelly Pelz-Butler had a number of assists in exciting offensive drives toward the goal. Blair's performance late in the game showcased their talent and demonstrated the reasons for their superb record throughout the season.
As hard as the girls fought, they simply could not come back after B-CC scored in the last 10 minutes. Blair put all their effort into last-minute shots on goal, which looked promising but were ultimately stopped by the Baron goalkeeper.
In the last two minutes, both teams knew how the game would end. The Barons wasted time on the sidelines and kept the ball in the corner in a cheap attempt to prevent Blazer possession in the last moments of the game.
B-CC started and finished the game with impressive goals, the first scored within the first five minutes of play. The strong Baron offense immediately slipped past Blair's defense and shot the ball clear over goalkeeper sophomore Lena Meyerson's head. B-CC's second goal decided the final outcome of the game, as one Baron offender flew past three Blazer defenders and shot just out of Meyerson's reach in the final minutes of the second half.
B-CC established their lead early and held on to it throughout the entire first half. But the Blazers came back in the second half with increased intensity and power. Sophomore Jamie Kator scored within the first three minutes of the game, eliciting mass cheering from the fans and hugs from the team.
It took the girls a bit of time, however, to step up their game and exceed that of B-CC. In the first half, Blazers were able to hold off all subsequent shots on goal, but had difficulty getting past the tough Baron defense. They were forced to fall back on defense, and their offense suffered each time they stole and maintained possession of the ball. But the girls still managed a number of extremely close shots on goal that were unfortunately saved by B-CC's goalkeeper.
Blair's defense and goalkeeping throughout the first half were strong. Meyerson made a number of impressive saves, tipping one shot off the top crossbar and out of the goal.
Blair consistently played at the same level as B-CC, which resulted in an exciting match-up. But both the players and coach Robert Gibb knew that the team needed to capitalize upon their new strategy in order to defeat the only team they had lost against during the season.
Gibb said Blair played more defensively and cautiously the first time they faced B-CC. This time, the Blazers planned to turn the pressure up. Gibb put more people in the game with frequent substitutions and made sure communication was solid, especially with the goalkeeper. Their new techniques paid off in the second half when they scored immediately and forced B-CC to be more alert.
As quickly as the Blazers had turned up the heat on the field, their spirits came crashing down as B-CC celebrated yet another victory. The first few minutes of the post-game huddle were silent, as players wiped their tears and hugged one another.
Even Gibb was emotional as he told the team that he was proud of their performance and that they put everything they had into this game. "We really couldn't have played much better," he said.
But the solemn quiet from all the girls revealed their great disappointment with the outcome. They ended their season with an intense game that was neck-in-neck, but the season was over. Gibb said that the saddest part was that the team won't have practice again tomorrow afternoon.
But the girls' varsity soccer team dominated their season and played their hearts out on the field. "We gave them everything we could. That's all I can ask for as a coach," said Gibb.
Laura Anthony. More »