In an exciting playoff game packed with numerous scoring opportunities, only one ball was needed in the back of net to beat Paint Branch and send the Blazers through to the Sectional finals.
The first few minutes of the game were a rocky start for Blair, as Paint Branch came out strong and forced a number of passing errors. The Blair lines quickly adjusted and began connecting. In Blair’s first try at the goal in the 4th minute, Gio Garcia Lopez threaded a long pass up the right sideline that hit Nate Tesfaw, then Sebastian Aliaga, who uncorked a high cross from deep in the right corner. The ball found Silas Reitsma in the left side of the box, who tucked the ball inside the far post on an impressive volley shot.
(See the shot at: https://youtu.be/QZPU2E5PuHQ)
For the remaining 76 minutes of the evening, the Blair back line maintained a flawless defense, allowing Paint Branch only a handful of shots and two corner kicks. The Blazers had 7 corners, and numerous attempts on goal that sailed wide, popped over the top, or – in one instance – rolled slowly within inches of the post. The ball stayed out of the goal, the spectators stayed on the edge of their seats, and the score stayed 1-0 until the final horn.
Blair travels to Urbana on Thursday to compete in the Sectional finals (kickoff at 6:00 pm). This will be a repeat of last year’s Sectional match-up, but this time we’re hoping for a better result! Come out to Urbana and cheer on your Blazers!