Blazers defense dominates Wildcats, 2-0
BLAZER STADIUM, Oct. 12 -
Boys' varsity soccer (4-3-1) won a decisive 2-0 match over the Walter Johnson Wildcats. After coming off an exhausting 3-3 tie to Wootton in double overtime, the Blazers were able to persevere over the Wildcats despite minor setbacks.
Both goals were scored by senior co-captain Aaron Baldwin. The first goal came with just over 3 minutes left to play in the first half, as Baldwin found the ball on his side of the goal and booted it past the Wildcat goalkeeper. The second was the result of a penalty kick shortly after halftime. Baldwin kicked the ball right past the goalie's outstretched fingertips. "We got pretty lucky," said Baldwin. "Especially with that penalty kick."
While the level of play on the field was intense, neither side was able to maintain control of the ball for any substantial length of time. Blair would push the ball toward Walter Johnson territory, only to have a Wildcat defender tackle the ball away and send it sailing back to the midfield. As soon as the Wildcats entered Blair territory, the Blazers would rush forward to reclaim possession. The two teams were evenly matched in play mode, each attempting to drive the ball far enough downfield to score and each time being thwarted by the opposing midfield or defense. "Our first half strategy was to try to play them even and feel them out and then use our fitness and conditioning to exploit their weaknesses in the second half,” assistant coach Vane Wiggins said. "WJ is a team with good players and is coached well.”
Strikers sophomore George de Rossi and freshman Stallon Ndawula each had several shots on goal, as did Aaron Baldwin.
The defense displayed great agility as they let the Wildcats drive the ball past them only a handful of times. "The defense had a great night by shutting down threats early and not allowing WJ to put together any real organized attempts on goal,” Wiggins said.
Junior goalkeeper Kit Durban deflected anything that Walter Johnson was able to send near the goal. Senior defender Jaime Amaya played another tremendous game, rushing forward to intercept oncoming Wildcats and once again anchoring the already strong defense. "The defense played really well," senior co-captain Xander Baldwin said. "They had very few mistakes and shots in the box."
In the second half, the number of Blazers knocked to the ground increased dramatically as the Wildcats tried to make a comeback. As the Wildcats endeavors to score became more reckless, the players sprinting for the ball inevitably tripped or collided into one another, resulting in several substitutions, on both sides, due to injury. The Blazers were able to keep up their intensity on the field despite not fully recovering from the game against Wootton. "We kept our focus throughout the game and were able to post a victory,” Wiggins said.
Varsity soccer's next home game is Wednesday, Oct. 14 against Sherwood at 7:00 p.m.
Jialin Quinlan. Jialin is an aspiring gymnast who started her career at the young age of 3. She was rated Maryland's number one pole vaulter in 2004 and her floor routine was widely considered able to compete with Shawn Johnson. However, a horrific addiction to peanut butter ... More »