Girls soccer stays undefeated and ties Walter Johnson

Sept. 25, 2002, midnight | By Nora Toiv | 21 years, 2 months ago

The girls' soccer team took on Walter Johnson (WJ) High School in its sixth game of the season. While the Blazers tied 0-0 after two overtimes, they maintained their undefeated, shutout status and improved to 5-0-1.

The game against WJ was the most well-attended game of the season, as fans screamed cheers from the bleacher. Also, the game was the most competitive of the season for the Blazers, who are winless against WJ. "We have never beaten [Walter Johnson] before and this is the closest we've come, and I'm happy with that," said goalie Erika Pelz-Bulter.

The girls' stellar defense came through for the team. Freshman Sophie Esparza, junior Jamie Kovach, and senior co-captain Beccah Bernard held off some of the county's best in this exhilarating and tense game. Both Blair and WJ had scoring opportunities.

Junior Nicole Gray, who scored a goal last game in a 3-0 upset of Sherwood High School,came on strong and was very close to scoring in overtime. Gray and senior Lorpu Kpadeh have worked very well together through out the season. Gray and Kpadeh have scored against Kennedy and Einstein, respectively, but the two were really coordinating their offensive efforts against WJ.

Bernard, a four-year varsity starter in the defense, had nothing but compliments for her team. "This is the most competitive team I have seen come out of Blair in four years," she said.

Freshman Sophie Esparza has undoubtedly been the biggest force on defense and shows her diversity with the way she clears the ball and dribbles past her opponents.

Pelz-Butler felt "safe" with her defense but was frustrated that her team could not score. "It is hard looking at the offense and seeing those missed chances," she said. Pelz-Butler has had some brilliant saves, but has yet to be truly tested this season.

Gibb was very impressed with his team and feels more confident after each game that they can compete with the best. "[Teams like Walter Johnson] are not over our heads anymore."

Not only is Gibb excited about being undefeated, but he feels that these games are all just preparation for the post-season. "When playoffs come around, we will be able to play against good teams and beat good teams," he said. Gibb called the game against Walter Johnson "gutsy" and "gritty" and says that he "cannot ask much more." "We are grooming ourselves for the playoffs," he said.

The girls have come on as one of the stronger Montgomery County teams this season. Their next home game will be on Wednesday against rival Springbrook High School.

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