Boys' soccer punishes Damascus 7-0 for sixth straight victory
OCTOBER 10, BLAZER STADIUM—
The Blair boys' varsity soccer team, ranked #7 in the area by The Washington Post last Thursday, remained undefeated in a 7-0 whipping of Damascus Tuesday night. The Blazers (6-0) returned to top form against the Hornets, scoring five goals in the first half and coasting to an easy victory in front of a sparse but energetic crowd at Blazer stadium.
Blair head coach Adrian Baez was happy to see his team play well after a shaky 2-0 win at Springbrook last week, but warned that the Blazers still have work to do if they want to keep their winning streak alive. " I'm really pleased with the way we played," said Baez. "But I'm searching for more. We were looking to get more into our 1-2 touching."
Baez attributed the team's victory to the outstanding play of Blair's midfield, which contributed four of the team's seven goals and dominated possession for most of the game. "The midfield is starting to gel more and distribute the ball from the middle," said Baez, who complimented the solid play of midfielders Josh Zipin, Mike Worden, Mikey Funes, Jack Graul, Sergio Quisquinay and Phil Allen.
The Blazers lit up the scoreboard from the opening kickoff, as senior Lamboni Yendoukah scored in the 2nd minute to give Blair an early 1-0 lead. Less than ten minutes later, Zipin churned down the sideline and beat a Damascus defender to the ball inside the box. Zipin took one dribble and fired a shot past the Hornets' stranded goalkeeper, stretching Blair's advantage to two goals.
Worden, a senior, got in on the scoring frenzy in the 14th minute, when he was left wide open down the left sideline to chase down a through ball, settle it and sent a rocket past the keeper for an easy goal. In the 27th minute, Worden took a throw-in from Graul near the box and, with his back toward the goal, juked out a defender, turned and lofted a cross inside the six-yard box. Yendoukah, who had re-entered the game just seconds earlier after serving a 5-minute penalty period on the bench for getting a yellow card, headed the ball softly over the goalie's outstretched hands for his second goal of the night and to give Blair a 4-0 advantage.
In the 38th minute, Zipin slipped a through ball to Quisquinay, who took one dribble inside the box and dropped the ball over the Hornet keeper's hands and into the back of the net, making the score 5-0 heading into halftime.
But the Blazers' offensive onslaught did not stop after halftime. In the 55th minute, Yendoukah let an oncoming pass go through his legs, springing Allen for a run down the left side. Allen, a senior, settled the ball and sent a pass across the goalmouth. Senior defender and co-captain Alex Assare-Wassow finished the play by netting a one-touch shot that put the Blazers up 6-0.
With eight minutes left in the game and most of Blair's starters taking a breather — Blair's starting goalie, Matt McClain, even saw some playing time in the field for the Blazers, drawing some playful cheers from his teammates — the Blazers again went on the attack. On a quick counterattack down the sideline, Assare-Wassow played a cross centrally to fellow co-captain Worden, who settled the ball and poked it past the keeper for his second goal of the game. The goal capped the Blazers' most impressive offensive showing this season, albeit at the hands of a weak opponent.
The Blazers were successful in making a statement and returning to their high level of play after a sloppy 2-0 win over Springbrook last Tuesday, which ended in a bit of undisclosed team turmoil. According to Yendoukah, the team's embattled leading scorer, the team's chemistry is great. "The arguments within the team are over. We took this game seriously," he said. "No more playing around. We got too many big games coming up to be playing around."
Blair's colossal matchup with #3-ranked Watkins Mill was rained out Saturday, and until the game is made up, the Blazers can only wonder how they stack up against the area's best soccer teams. The Washington Post ranked Blair seventh in the area, five spots back of Montgomery County powerhouse Magruder, who the Blazers will not face this season. But wherever and whatever the squad is ranked, coach Baez's boys are ready to face the best and hope to finish the year undefeated. "We're chomping at the bit to play Watkins Mill," said Baez.
The boys' soccer team will face the Blake Bengals at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Blazer Stadium.
Abe Schwadron. Abe is a huge basketball, baseball, and football fan that likes to read up on sports in SLAM, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN magazines. Hobbies include streetball, poker and film-making. A sneaker addict, Abe likes to keep his kicks fresh. Abe likes reggae and hip-hop music, … More »