Field hockey beaten by Panthers in double overtime
OCT 17, PAINT BRANCH—
The field hockey team was handed a frustrating, double-overtime loss by the Paint Branch Panthers, despite the strongest performance they have had all season. Playing on a muddy field in a frigid rain, the Blazers had an intense game with solid passing and excellent individual performances in the last game of the regular season. Yet it was not enough, as Blair fell 2-1 in sudden death.
Neither team could maintain control in the first half, as the ball moved quickly back and forth across the field due to the wet grass. Blair's defense showed its usual strength, keeping the ball out of the circle and aggressively marking attackers. The Panthers had several close shots, but senior goalkeeper Jordy Goldstein, with the help of senior defender Anna Chiplis, was able to prevent them from scoring.
The Blazer played better at midfield than in previous games, recovering and advancing quickly to support the rest of the team. Junior Jessie Hallberlin and senior Sydney Valdez attacked the ball and stayed close to opposing players, not allowing them to get their shots off. The difficult and unusual field conditions caused the team to commit more penalties than usual, but the Blazers set up good walls and prevented the Panthers from taking advantage of their free hits.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with forceful play from both teams. As the players became more and more tired, they started to lose traction and fell often on the slippery field. The game stayed tied until 17 minutes in, when the Panthers drove the ball up the field and were able to keep the ball within the circle. After several blocked shots on goal, they were able to slip the ball through and take the lead 1-0.
The Blazers were disheartened and their performance began to slip, but as time wound down they stepped it up and attacked the goal. With little over two minutes left in the game, sophomore Maya Damato-Calabre scored off an assist from fellow sophomore Eve Kenney to tie the game. Time ran out and the game went into 7-on-7 sudden death overtime.
In the first overtime, the exhausted players on both teams had trouble connecting and advancing the ball. The defense held strong on both sides of the field, and the time ran out with the scored still tied. In the second overtime, a Blazer squad consisting of several sophomores previously on JV had several opportunities on the Paint Branch side of the field, but failed to spread out and get near the goal. The two teams fought it out for several minutes until the Panthers drove the ball up the field and slipped the ball into the net to end the game.
After the game, coach Brook Franceschini was upbeat despite the loss. "We should be happy," she said in the post-game speech, "we played an excellent game." She was happy about the team's intensity and attitude, which she saw as a definite improvement. "We're the underdogs in every game, but not today," she said.
Senior Jenny Jones, who missed the game due to injuries, agreed with Franceschini's assessment. "We played strong today, really intense. We played our hearts out," she said.
Game time Thursday for Blair's first playoff game is 3:30 pm, at Springbrook.
Jon Berger. Jon Berger is a junior in the magnet. He likes ipods, poker, mountain biking, Batman, and listing some of his favorite bands. So : Fugazi, GY!BE, Kid Dynamite, At the Drive-In, Comeback Kid, Envy, Christie Front Drive, Rites of Spring, Neutral Milk Hotel, Hot Cross, … More »