The Paint Branch Panthers were no match for the Blair girls varsity soccer team, dominating in a 10-0 win
On Oct. 6, the Blair Blazers (7-1-1) beat the Paint Branch Panthers (0-7) 10-0 in an entertaining, action-packed game.
The game started slow, with several failed attempts on goal by both teams. Blair had some powerful offensive pushes which ultimately led to their first goal by senior Galya Diamond-Berman. This was far from the first goal of the night for Diamond-Berman, who scored almost immediately after, putting the Blazer’s in a comfortable lead of 2-0 for the start of the first half.
Blair easily regained possession, and senior Madga Goles shortly scored a goal of her own, making the score 3-0. The game was already shaping up to be a guaranteed win for Blair. The Panther defense lacked greatly as they became increasingly reliant on their goalkeeper to deflect shots.
On the other hand, Blair's defense was unstoppable, effectively and efficiently slowing down Paint Branch from ever getting too close to the goal. While there were defensive fumbles here and there, Blair made up for it with their excellent recovery.
The Blair offense's back to back attempts on Paint Branch’s goal gave the Panthers little time to bounce back and regain power. With fifteen minutes in the first half, it was already looking hopeless for Paint Branch.
This hopelessness was exasperated even more after a goal from freshman striker Meron Koro who pushed past Paint Branch's defense to score. Mere minutes later, she scored again, head butting the ball into the goal, 5-0. Senior Chloe Peyrebrune, following suit with Koro, buried two consecutive goals, widening the Blazers' lead to an insurmountable 7-0. The first half ended with the Blazers in control.
Girls varsity coach Gibb praised the team's focus even while facing a weaker opponent. “When you’re playing a team that you’re better than, the tendency a lot of the time is to play down to them, and I liked how we, except for a couple of moments, we kept the focus,'' said Gibb. Despite individual blunders, the Blazer’s teamwork and offensive prowess led them to dominate the first half.
Paint Branch began to show offensive improvement in the second half. The Blazers got sloppy with their defense, allowing the Panthers to push through and attempt a shot on goal. However, Blair goalie Alegria Martins saved goal after goal. Blair's defense quickly adjusted their structure to prevent any further offensive plays from their opponents.
Junior Sally Peyrebrune soon scored, giving the Blazer’s their first goal of the second half, making the score 8-0. The next few minutes in the half were fairly dull, as Blair’s comfortable lead gave them ease. The ball stayed on Paint Branch's side of the field, as players from each team clumped together in a frenzy looking for possession. Breaking away from the clump, senior Magda Goles scored yet another goal, 9-0.
With the Blazers nearing double digits, all members were working hard to ensure that senior Zaida Willis scored the last goal of the match. Coach Gibb explained that it was tradition to give the last shot of an easier game to someone who hasn’t scored before. “It gives us something to do, like a task, and I was like ‘just keep giving her the ball so she scores you know,’ and she finally did, which is great, so that was fun,” Gibb said. With a little over a minute on the clock, Willis scored the tenth goal of the night.
According to Goles, Blair has drastically improved since the start of the season. “we’re constantly looking to connect more, and just play better together and just get more comfortable with each other. But I think that everytime we step onto the field we can see it getting better and better.,” said Goles.
After this dominant win, senior Diamond-Berman is optimistic about the next game of the season. “We have a big game coming up against Sherwood who we really want to beat. We lost to them in the regionals final last year, and I’m feeling a lot more confident. I think we really can secure the win,” she said.
Blair’s next home game is on Thursday, Oct. 13 against Churchill. Tickets can be found here.
Alexander Liu. Hi, I'm Alex (he/him) and I'll be a staff writer for SCO this year. I'm passionate about public policy and international relations. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and watching terrible rom-coms. More »
Lillian Paterson. Hey, I'm Lillian (she/her) and I'm a staff writer for SCO. When I'm not being totally consumed by school work I like to play guitar and read. More »