Burned out offense gives way to opponents
BLAZER STADIUM, May 1 -
This story was based on post-game interviews only and not on a first-hand account.
Under the pressure of muggy 80-degree weather, Blair's boys' varsity lacrosse team (1 - 7) fell to the Magruder Colonels (4 - 4) 12 - 2 on Saturday. Players said the oppressive heat weakened the team's overall strength, but that the Blazers were also simply too sluggish to overcome the superior Colonels. "We just lacked the focus, the cutting edge, to be able to get a grip on the game," junior Max Holmes said. "And Magruder made us pay."
The Blazers played with strong heart in the second half. "As the game wore on, we didn't just give up," Holmes said. The team received a kick of motivation in the third quarter when Kovar made an impressive goal; he ran the ball up from the midfield and drove at the Magruder defense, managing to get enough space to make a successful shot.
But despite this remarkable success, the team was simply out-played by the Colonels, who applied several strategies to continually drive at the Blair's goal. "[They] did a nice job of picking apart our zone through good ball movement and shooting," junior captain Vishnu Rao said. Some timid Blair plays in the midfield also helped the Colonels penetrate through the defense.
The Blazers' suffering in the second half of the game could be traced back to the first quarter, in which the team started out sluggish; they conceded a goal just 10 seconds after the starting whistle. Though the team managed to dictate play more often as the half progressed, the Blazers were unable to rise above Magruder. "For whatever reason, we never really got back into it," Kovar said. Kovar scored the team's only other goal in the second quarter, but this glimpse of hope proved insignificant. Magruder made numerous goals and had clarified their victory by halftime.
According to players, the heat was the primary factor that led to the team's disarray. Blair was slow from the start and had a difficult time getting back on track in the overwhelming humidity.
Because both teams had very few substitutes, individual players felt even more pressure. "The small number of available players kind of killed us," Holmes said. The Colonels seemed to be less crippled by the heat, however, as they stayed on top of their plays. "Magruder really out-hustled us," Kovar said.
While the team failed to be aggressive enough on the attack, the defense and goalie positions had strong showings, which seems to be a pattern for the Blazers. "I think our team's biggest weakness, as it has been the whole season, is possessing the ball and staying on offense," Rao said. The team was also shaky in basic skills such as throwing and catching, Kovar said.
Rao expressed disappointment about the team's performance against Magruder. "We expected to play better than we did," he said. Rao also emphasized the need for the team to be more mentally and physically aggressive to achieve future victories. "We need to hustle more and actually want to win," he said.
The Blazers' next home game is Tuesday, May 4 against Richard Montgomery at 5:15 p.m.
Anya Gosine. More »