Blair unable to recover from 5-1 halftime deficit
BLAZER STADIUM, April 23
Following a miraculous comeback victory against Watkins Mill the previous day, the boys' varsity lacrosse team (6-5) was unable to find the same success against the visiting Gaithersburg Trojans (6-2) Thursday night. Hampered by injuries and missing players, the Blazers fell, 8-4.
Despite entering the second half of the game trailing 5-1, the Blazers lost neither hope nor heart, and often seemed to be on the verge of a second upset victory. Starting the third quarter with possession of the ball, the Blazers vigorously attacked the Trojans' offensive zone. Within seconds, Blair had cut through Gaithersburg's defense, resulting in a goal by senior middie Tom Clement.
Attempted returns by the Trojans were shut down by Blair's powerful defensive effort, anchored by a strong showing from sophomore goalie Kit Durban. The Blazers kept up their offensive effort, which drew blood a second time seven minutes into the quarter when senior co-captain Mike Mozer picked up a rebound and blasted the ball past the Trojans' goalie.
By the end of the third quarter however, the Trojans regained dominance. With a little over a minute left, Gaithersburg's defense forced a turnover and rushed Blair's net, taking the Blazers' defense by surprise and scoring an easy goal with just seven seconds remaining.
As the fourth quarter dragged on, the two teams seemed deadlocked. Sloppy passing by an increasingly desperate Blair offense was further complicated by an increasingly aggressive Trojan defensive effort, leading to pitched battles for ground balls. With 27.8 seconds left on the clock, Gaithersburg delivered a final coup de grâce to a limping Blair, whipping a fast shot pass Durban to end the game 8-4.
The Trojans' second-half performance was a far cry from the team's dominant, well-coordinate first-half effort. Though Blair's tight defensive lines managed to hold off Gaithersburg's slower offensive drives, the Trojans scored several times on fast, unanticipated breakaways. An exceptional showing by Gaithersburg goalie Alex Hersack - who blocked dozens of shots by Blair's offense - held Blair to one goal for the first half.
Still, Blair put the best possible face on their performance. "They absolutely destroyed us last year," head coach Bob Gibb said. "We're moving in a positive direction."
Senior co-captain Andy Holmes agreed, adding that the game was a learning experience for the team. "All-in-all this is a game we can be proud of," Holmes said. "It's a loss, but it's a loss I think we can build upon."
The Blazers' next home game is Friday, May 1 against Einstein at 7 p.m.
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