Girls Varsity Soccer · Off Campus Senior Night Bittersweet for Girls Varsity Soccer

4 Walter Johnson High School
2 Montgomery Blair High School
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Walter Johnson High School vs Montgomery Blair High School
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2 1   1

The Blazers had their first ever “home away from home” Senior Night, thanks to repairs needed for the stadium artificial turf after a non-athletic school event. The girls had to travel to Paint Branch to face a challenging Walter Johnson team and to honor 10 amazing seniors. Things got off to a rough start for the senior-laden lineup (9 of the 10 seniors on the team were in the starting lineup), with WJ capitalizing on their first opportunity. A through ball down the right flank was taken by a Wildcat midfielder, who carried it in and launched a 30-yard shot over senior goalkeeper Bernadette Hargrove and into the far side of the net just three minutes into the match. Five minutes later, WJ would let loose another outside shot to double the score at two. With the defense in disarray, WJ’s lone striker took a ball at the top of the box, with her back to the goal, turned to her left and fired a third goal into the back of the net. After that, the Blazers seemed to stabilize, with some substitutions and the Blair offense pushing back to relieve the pressure. But failure to clear a ball out of the back in the thirty-third minute cost the Blazers a fourth goal, and it seemed that this might be too big of hole to climb out of. There were a few glimmers of hope before halftime, starting with senior Janie Pitner’s corner kick. Taken from the left side, she curled one to the back post and a WJ player was whistled for a hand ball. Junior Nieve Barry calmly shot the ball just out of the reach of the WJ goalkeeper and Blair had life! With just under a minute to go in the half, the Blazers got a freekick opportunity at the top of the WJ box, but the defenders set up a wall and the referees allowed time to drain off of the clock until the half ended without giving Barry a chance to have a go, even though she was ready to take the kick with 30 seconds left! During the second half, the Blazers gave as good or even better than they got. Senior Noa Dorah scored from a well-placed through ball from sophomore Marlee Ginyard in the fifty-fifth minute to pull the game back to 4-2. There were several other chances and almost chances for the Blazers, including a breakaway by Ginyard in the waning moments which was thwarted by the WJ goalkeeper, but the Blazers could not make up for the four early goals they surrendered. In the record books, Senior Night 2019 goes down as a loss. But the most important part of the evening, which took place after the final whistle, is what will be remembered most. We got the chance to honor our seniors: Bianca, Jansi, Vivi, Janie, Rachel, Noa, Mathis, Dede, Bernadette, and Zoe for their fabulous soccer careers and contributions at Blair.