Blazers start season off strong with comeback win against Rockville

Sept. 19, 2018, 2:25 p.m. | By Alex Russ | 5 years, 5 months ago

Boys' varsity soccer bounces back from a 1-0 deficit

On September 5, the boy’s varsity soccer team beat the Rockville Rams 2-1 with a late comeback push to start their season off 1-0.The last year when these two teams met it ended in a 3-3 draw, but this year Blair was able to take the win. 

The game started off fast paced with both teams exchanging possession, but neither team getting many opportunities to score. With 25 minutes left in the first half, Rockville finally took the first shot on goal, but Blair's goalie, senior Liam Delone-Bellsey, saved the low shot in the corner to prevent Rockville from taking an early lead.

With 19 minutes left in the half, Rockville's defense cleared the ball and found a wide open forward running up the field who scored on a fundamental finish. Coach Hernandez was not worried after Rockville scored and believed the team would come back. "I was calm. I believed in the guys and trusted that they were going to overcome the deficit," Hernandez said.

Rockville had a lot of momentum after taking the lead, but the Blazers were able to hold them out for the rest of the half, heading into the break only down by one. Team captain, senior defender, James Madden, said the team was not worried at halftime, and they knew they would be able to come back. "We had a sense of quiet confidence because we knew we weren't playing our game. We played them before, we knew how to play, and we knew we would get back to our game and comeback for sure," Madden said.

At the start of the second half, the Blazers came out playing at their own pace, instead of trying to match the fast paced Rockville offense. By focusing on possession and keeping their composure, the Blazers controlled the ball and created more opportunities. It certainly paid off when junior forward, Natinael Tesfaw, scored a sliding goal from the left side of the box in the 57th minute.

This was a tough blow for Rockville, and gave Blair all the momentum. The Blazers kept getting opportunities to attack and score, and were able to keep the ball on Rockville's end for the majority of the second half. 

With 17 minutes left, Blair got two more shots off, but Rockville's goalkeeper held strong in goal and warded off both attempts. But, the Blazers stayed persistent and soon after, with 13 minutes left, senior midfielder Henok Azene, put in a corner kick assisted by senior midfielder, Htooeh Redford-Maung Maung. This gave the Blazers a late lead, and all the momentum.

Blair was able to hold off the Rams for the rest of the game and pulled off the big win, starting off the season 1-0. Madden was happy with the outcome, and was proud of his teammates for fighting their way back late in the game, but also feels that they will need to improve going forward. "The game went well because we came back from a one to nothing deficit. I think we battled back as a team and it was good to face a lot of diversity in our first game, but we can play at a higher level and improve from this game," Madden said.

The Blazers head into their next game undefeated, and will face a more challenging opponent, Whitman High School, next Wednesday, September 12th at home. 

Last updated: Sept. 19, 2018, 2:26 p.m.

Tags: Boys' Soccer Rockville Rams

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