Blazers trounce Titans 17-2, improve to 3-1

April 2, 2003, midnight | By Lincoln Fischer | 17 years, 9 months ago

Three Blazers hit the net four times against an inexperienced Einstein squad


Seven different Blazers hit the twine as Blair put an easy road win in the books at Einstein High School tonight, trouncing the Titans 17-2.

Senior Robin Zhao, and juniors Beth Gula and Ariel Wilchek each scored four goals in the win. Many younger players stepped up tonight as Blair dominated every facet of the game and showed vast improvement all around from its dismal 11-3 loss to Springbrook High School on Mar 31.

Einstein struck first 43 seconds into the game with a beautiful end-to-end run, and earned the team's first lead of the year. The lead lasted mere seconds before Gula responded with two almost identical goals that started with a dodge from up top.

Zhao then put the Blazers up 3-1 when she shook her defender, dodged the double and triple teams and found the back of the net with a beautiful backhand shot. A foul shot from the fan gave the Titans their last goal of the night as the Blazers went on to score 14 unanswered goals.

With his team up 11-2 at the half, fifth year head coach Mike Horne had the opportunity to tweak the settle down style of offense and get his younger talent valuable game experience. The Blazers shut out the Titans 6-0 in the second half.

Depth proved to be a big issue for the inexperienced Titans. The Blazer defense recognized this and quickly double-teamed the only Titan scoring threat. Communication on defense, something the Blazers had a big problem with in the Springbrook game, was impeccable tonight. Senior co-captain Brigid McCarthy anchored the defense and played a big role in the success of the Blazer transition game.

McCarthy was happy with her team's performance tonight, but knows it will take a lot more to run with the stronger teams of the county. "Even though the score was great, we weren't playing up to our potential," she said, "at times it was sloppy."

Wilchek played a pivotal part in the success of the Blazer offense, confidently acting as the quarterback and picking up key groundballs. Both Gula and Zhao, as always, worked well under pressure and were not hesitant to go to the cage. As it gains confidence, the Blazer offense is emerging as a balanced unit that can strike from anywhere. Blair frequently broke down the Titan clearing game and maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the contest.

Losing its top three scorers to graduation, Blair was expected to rebuild its offense this year. In front of a solid defense and one of the best goaltenders in the county, the offense has proved it can carry its weight, outscoring its first four opponents 53-16.

In goal, junior Anna Benfield was rarely tested, but turned away a number of legitimate Einstein scoring chances. She led many successful clears and ignited a few fast break opportunities.

Horne was satisfied with his team's success after stumbling against a very similar Springbrook High School Squad. "I'm very confident in them, they're stepping up, and I'm very excited about that," he said.

With their third road win, the Blazers improve to (3-1) overall, Einstein drops to (0-4). Blair is now undefeated (4-0) all-time versus Einstein High School. Blair faces perennial powerhouse Walter Johnson High School away Friday Apr 4. Game time is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Score by Half12Final
Blair (3-1)11617
Einstein (0-4)202

Blair Goals: Beth Gula (4), Ariel Wilchek (4), Robin Zhao (4), Lauren Finkel (2), Diana Frey, Mairead Hunter, Sarah Robinson

Blair Assists: Lauren Finkel, Ariel Wilchek

Blair Goalies: Anna Benfield (6 saves, 2 goals against, 42 minutes), Betsy Costilo (2 saves, 0 goals against, 8 minutes)

Draws: Blair (12), Einstein (8)

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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 »

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