Blazers lose their undefeated record after Blue Devils massacre
The boys' lacrosse team fell to the Springbrook Blue Devils 17-3, snapping the Blazers' undefeated streak. Plagued by turnovers and missed shots, Blair couldn't keep up with the Blue Devils' shooting accuracy and aggressive plays.
The loss ends the team's five-game winning streak, the first such streak in years. "It's hard coming off of 5-0, but you've got to remember how you got there," said Coach Robert Gibb. He sees the loss as a wake-up call to a team gone complacent.
The Blazers started out strong and were quick to get possession, but were unable to score despite many attempts. Little communication among defensive players left senior goalkeeper Robbie Ginsberg to defend the net alone, and Springbrook scored twice within the first five minutes.
Springbrook scored four more times during the first quarter, and a goal by junior Tim Visclosky did little to improve morale or concentration. With the score already at 6-1, the Blazers stepped up their aggression but were unable to close the lead.
"They're a really incredible team. Their ball movement is perfect and they really know each other's tendencies and how to play as a team," sophomore defender Andy Holmes said of the Blue Devils. "Some of them have been playing together for five or six years."
The Blue Devils' ability to move the ball on fast breaks and transitions left Ginsberg with little chance of saving shots in one-on-one situations. The Blazers' inability to maintain possession hurt them time and again throughout the second quarter, giving the Blue Devils several easy one-on-one
scoring opportunities against Ginsberg. "Their team was really fundamentally sound. They worked well together as a team and really knew how to play," said senior Nick Mozer.
As Springbrook took advantage of the opportunity to score a ninth goal, the Blazers' focus began to sap. Though Ginsberg made a total of 16 saves throughout the half, the Blazers made just five shots and only one goal. Spirits were low as the halftime buzzer sounded, and the boys stomped off the field with little hope of regaining the lead in the second half.
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, with the Blazer defense unable to solidify itself against Springbrook's onslaught. One such attack came from Blue Devil co-captain Ben Simmons, who made a quick steal, took the ball down the field, crossed the goal and bounced the ball past Ginsberg and into the net. He repeatedly used his crank shot to score from just inside the restraining line.
The Blue Devils were helped significantly by two of their strongest players, seniors Tim Roe and co-captain Adam Brizendine. The Blazer defense couldn't guard against the steady stream of shots by the Blue Devils, and Springbrook scored several goals by shooting low and from the side, a weak spot for Ginsberg and his defenders.
"We came to the game hoping to minimize their scoring opportunities," said sophomore midfielder Eliot Gold, "but the way they opened up the field made it really hard for the defense to contain them."
The fourth quarter was a painful one, as Blair looked increasingly frustrated on defense but couldn't come together as a team. The offense was aggressive but sloppy with the ball, and the Blazers were often unable to set up plays or shoot when opportunities arose.
The Blue Devils' offense was strong enough to maintain control of the field with quick and accurate passes. With four minutes left in the game, sophomore Mike Mozer dashed past Springbrook's defense and fired the ball into the goal, finally giving the home team audience something to cheer about.
By that time, Blair had fallen too far behind to regain a lead, and the game ended with a score of 17-3. Nick Mozer reflected, "We may have become a little too cocky about our skills, so this is a good wake-up call for the team."
Head coach Robert Gibb agreed, saying that the team "got shaken and didn't play with style or poise. [The Blue Devils] were really good, and no matter what, I think they would have beaten us."
April DalBello. More »