Despite difficulty getting started, lady blazers manage to finish chances
BLAZER STADIUM, SEPT. 18— Blair varsity girls' soccer (2-2) defeated the Kennedy Lady Cavaliers through a mixture of offensive strikes and solid defense. The lady blazers had difficulty getting started, however, and frequently missed chances to score, finally netting two goals at the end of the first half and managing to finish strong with two more goals in the second half.
The lady blazers stayed on the offensive for the majority of the first half, but sloppy passes and a lack of cohesiveness in the offense prevented them from scoring until late in the half. Seniors Katrina Golladay and Annie Pietanza and sophomore Kelly Mayo controlled the ball well but were unable to make it past Kennedy's defense. Senior captain Delia Trimble also made a beautiful shot that was just a little too high.
On defense, seniors Michelle McGhee and Adrianne Kehne presented an impenetrable defense. Finally, four minutes before halftime, senior Shannon Healy scored off an assist from senior Maggie McClain. Less than a minute later, Mayo doubled their lead on a breakaway off of a through ball.
The positive streak continued into the second half as junior Elyse Salpekar scored two minutes in. From there, however, the play grew much more aggressive and the Blazers had to fight to maintain possession of the ball. Several players got injured and were helped off the field. Kennedy's newfound energy evened the game such that neither team was able to dominate, although Blair had multiple missed chances to score. Nevertheless, Blair ended strong with junior Taylor Bosse's goal ten minutes before the end.
Despite Blair's resounding victory, head coach Robert Gibb believes there is still much room for improvement, especially in the offensive line. "We weren't clicking," he said. "Our offense hasn't clicked yet." The team also has to work on functioning as one unit. "We have to move the ball quicker, get rid of it faster, play more as a team," Salpekar said. "We have to make more connections."
Scoring, however, helped the team get into their stride. "With the first goals, everything opened up. People got comfortable," Gibb said. The players, too, found the lead reassuring. "We started slow, but we caught up," Salpekar said. "We got more touches and we scored some goals."
The team's ability to establish dominance quickly and begin scoring immediately will be very important in the coming weeks as they prepare for rivals Whitman, Churchill and Walter Johnson. "We have to work on coming out strong and finishing," Healy said. Gibb will be working hard to prepare the offense for the challenge. "Our defense is solid, but we've got to be able to score goals," he said. "And we'll get there."
The game was a good opportunity for what Gibb called a "tune-up." Everyone on the varsity team got to play and Salpekar and Bosse scored their first varsity goals for Blair. The Blazers hope to use their next game, against Richard Montgomery, as one last tune-up.
The Blair girls' soccer team will play its next home game on Monday, September 23 against Walt Whitman at 7:00 pm.
Editor's note: Maggie McClain is a member of Silver Chips Print.
Zoe Johnson. Hey there! I'm Zoe, and my spirit animal is a lioness, which sums up my personality pretty well, actually--though I do try not rip people from limb to limb if I can help it. But hey, we've all got our growth areas, right? I really ... More »