Blazers pull together in second half for a 2-1 win
Sept. 11, BLAZER STADIUM -
The Blair boys' junior varsity soccer team's win over Wheaton in the first game of the season was an uninspiring one. The players had trouble sticking to their placements and staying away from the ball when it was already covered. But the Blazers were able to muster a 2-1 win over the Knights.
"Towards the end they were able to effectively control the ball and the field," said head coach Marc Grossman, "Before that a lot of them were swarming instead of maintaining position."
The Wheaton Knights opened with an aggressive offense; a Wheaton forward quickly scored the first goal of the game after a number of valiant attempts by Blair. The Knights fell back, playing defensively.
Blair's forwards tried for several close-side and long shots at the goal, but Wheaton's goalie and defense remained rugged and focused. The Blazers were unable to find one another on the field and would opt for individual charges instead that were easily stopped. At one point, a number of nice attempts at Wheaton's goal reached a climax when Wheaton's goalie hurled himself at the ball but missed and struck the ground. The goal was left open for a few moments but the Blazers missed the opportunity to score on the open net.
The Blazers scored their first goal 15 minutes into the first half after a Wheaton mid-fielder stumbled over the ball, allowing a Blair forward to land a nicely-aimed goal from a distance.
Blair rounded out the first half with a solid offense and a number of nice attempts at Wheaton's goal, including one that missed by a hair, striking the crossbar.
Blair's game improved significantly in the second half, while the Knights lagged on defense and began to play more offensively. Despite Blair's renewed cohesiveness and Wheaton's faltering, the Blazers were unable to round out their game with any major successes.
After a number of thwarted penalty kicks and near-misses, the Blazers scored another goal when the ball rolled into Wheaton's goal after slipping out of the goalie's arms. The game ended with the Blazers on top, 2-1.
But coach Grossman was hoping for a better performance from the team despite the win over Wheaton. "It's going to be a long season," he said.
Gus Woods. William "Gus" Woods is a junior who enjoys, far more than anything else, tiddlywinks tournaments and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" re-runs. He is a great fan of any and all music and enjoys playing the piano in his spare time. He belongs, literally belongs, … More »