County champs dominate Blair in 13-4 loss
April 4, Blazer Stadium—
The Blair Blazers were defeated 13-4 by the Damascus Hornets tonight, dropping their overall season record to 0-6. Plagued by errors, the team found itself unable to pass efficiently or capitalize on Damascus mistakes. They were also hindered by the absence of senior captains Diana Frey and Julie Spatz, who remained on the sidelines due to injuries.
This game, like so many others this year, started out scantily, with the Blazer defense struggling to stick assignments and read the Damascus offense. The Hornets scored three goals in the first two minutes of the game, while simultaneously shutting out the Blair team. It was not until only 5:15 was left in the first half that senior captain Kiran Belani broke through three Damascus defenders and flicked the ball past the opposing goalie to get her and her teammates on the board. The score was 7-1.
The Blazers defense improved towards the end of the half, allowing only two more goals, one with only seconds left. Devon Broca of Damascus stripped the ball from the girls' offense and weaved unassisted through the Blazer defense for a statement-making goal. This had become Damascus' game with the Hornet lead stretched to 9-1.
Visibly shaken, the Blazers retired to face a relatively placid coach and the whiteboard for a new strategy. In his halftime pep-talk, coach Mike Horne radiated a calm control, emphasizing that his players relax and concentrate on fundamentals. The effect was apparent once the Blazers retook the field, starting the final 25 minutes with a renewed vigor that belied their lackluster first half.
The ladies put on an impressive display, outscored by a slim margin of 4-3 by the defending county champs, to finish the game 13-4. Horne attributed many of the consistent errors to lack of experience. "Some of these [Damascus] girls have been playing since they were walking, whereas a broad majority of our team consists of freshmen girls playing for their first time," he said. "It's tough to beat experience."
Notable performances included those of junior Devon Madison and freshman Kiera Zitelman's offensive efforts and that of freshman goalie Katelyn Luker's stoic defense. Proud of his young goalie's continuous improvement, Horne claimed that Luker "weathered the storm," foiling many Hornet attempts on goal.
The Lady Blazers hope to improve their record to 1-6 when they travel to Springbrook for their next game against the Blue Devils April 6.
Robert Feasley. Robert is a llamahead. More »