Blair allows season-worst 14 goals in 14-2 loss
The Damascus Hornets put on a clinic for the Blazers Tuesday afternoon, defeating Blair 14-2 in a one-sided game that looked nothing like the Blazers' last home victory against Einstein.
The Hornets dominated the better part of three quarters while limiting a stagnant Blair offense to precious few scoring opportunities that resulted in only two goals. A week after beating the Einstein Titans 5-4 in one of the most inspiring games in recent team history, the Blazers gave up 14 goals to a more athletic, fluid and experienced Damascus squad.
The Hornets started scoring early, and never let up. After their first goal only 1:17 into the match, the Hornets struck again at the 3:54 mark and a third time 1:40 later. Despite being down early in the first, the Blazers held their own and put enough pressure on the talented Damascus squad to force turnovers and organize themselves on the offensive end.
However, after a respectable showing in the first quarter, the Blazers seemed to fall apart in the second quarter and never regained their composure once Damascus roared to life. "I thought we played well in the first," said junior captain and goalkeeper Robbie Ginsberg, "but then after that I got a little tired and made a few mistakes that led to easy goals."
The dismal second quarter started exactly like the first, with a goal within the first 1:15 followed by two more in the next four minutes for Damascus. The Hornets finished the quarter with six goals, including a final rocket from about 30 yards out to punctuate the effort. The one highlight of the quarter for Blair was a goal by junior midfielder Matt McClain, a first-time lacrosse player who has appeared to find his role on the team and contributed on the offensive end with sharp passing and well-timed runs while scoring one of Blair's two goals. The goal came after McClain crept onto the field following a substitution. Unnoticed by the Damascus defense, McClain received a cross-field pass from junior Daniel Klein and smacked the angled shot into the net from 20 yards out.
With a cushy nine-goal advantage to start the second half, the Hornets switched goalkeepers and replaced their starters with players from their third and fourth lines. While Blair limited Damascus to only four goals in the remaining two quarters, the Damascus reserves continued to dominate the game, causing havoc for the Blair long poles and stifling any offensive threat from Blair with stingy defense of their own.
After a couple more goals in the third, Blair found the back of the net once again on Tyler Wilchek's hard, bouncing shot following a Blazer interception at half-field. However, Wilchek's goal was overshadowed by an embarrassing play that resulted in a Damascus goal two minutes later. With only a few minutes left in the quarter, Ginsberg brought the ball up from his net only to lose it at half field. As he sprinted back to his post, the Damascus forward released a high, arcing shot that sailed over Ginsberg's head and into the back of the net.
Blair's offensive inadequacy and trouble preventing the Damascus attack was due in large part to the fact that the Blazers were without six of their starters, including captains Nick Mozer and Dan Donnelly.
"Damascus, all they had over us was athleticism and size; with our full team I would give us a chance," said McClain.
The six starters were also veterans of the team, and the lack of experience is one thing that coach Robert Gibb has said is the most hindering aspect to his team's play. "We're thin when were healthy," Gibb said. "We were missing six starters and we can't afford to have them out."
Gibb was quick to point out, however, that the positive side to the absence of his starters was that he was able to play nearly his entire bench. "For some guys, this is their first real game, and every game's a little bit more experience," he added.
Freshman defender Andy Holmes also saw some positive aspects of Blair's play. "Though the score didn't show it, our defense played up to [Damascus] and we roughed them up a bit," he said.
Blair will look to even their record and pick up their third win of the season at Springbrook on Thursday.
Ethan Kuhnhenn. Ethan Kuhnhenn is a junior in the Communication Arts program and is entering his first year as a SCO staff member. When he's not fishing in his new bass boat, you can probably find him at Taco Bell chilling with his best friend, the cheesy … More »