Defense-minded Roland Park stops Bryn Mawr in AIS semifinal AIS A TOURNAMENT

May 06, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Whenever Roland Park plays Bryn Mawr, only one thing can be taken for granted -- they won't score many goals.

In their earlier meeting, the rivals staged a defensive showdown that No. 2 Roland Park rallied to win, 6-5, in the final 55 seconds.

Yesterday's game wasn't much different except that the Reds took an early four-goal lead and never surrendered en route to a 6-3 victory in an Association of Independent Schools A Division Tournament semifinal.

The Reds (14-0) go after an unprecedented fourth-straight AIS tournament title Tuesday afternoon at Garrison Forest. They will play the winner of this afternoon's semifinal between No. 7 Mount de Sales and No. 12 Notre Dame Prep.

Yesterday, both the Reds and No. 14 Bryn Mawr (7-4-1) played sensational defense. In the opening minutes, it seemed that no one would ever score.

But the home team got the jump on the Mawrtians in transition. In the first meeting, Mawrtians line defenders Sara Jordan, Amy McCormick and Kate Spies stopped the Reds' transition game. This time, the Reds struck too quickly.

Strong passes and perfect timing proved the key to the eight-minute spurt that turned out to be the only offense the Reds needed.

Catherine Passano and Elizabeth Rodgers set up back-to-back goals by drawing the defense and dishing off to an open teammate on the crease. Passano hit Lizzy Bennett and then Rodgers fed Hedy Born for a two-goal lead 14 minutes into the game.

The Reds' passing game continued to roll as Susanna Pitts hit Melissa Cully and Peggy Boutilier fed Rodgers for a 4-0 lead with 7:27 left until halftime.

The Mawrtians had plenty of chances, especially after forcing a handful of turnovers, but they had trouble getting good shots against the Reds defense. They tried to force their way through too often.

"We didn't spread out on attack and we didn't pass around," said Bryn Mawr's Carole Fakhry. "We tried going through the triple- and double-teams. A couple of us were getting triple-teamed all over the place and we didn't really react."

The Reds got terrific team defense from Pitts, Meredith Shuey, Ridgely Bennett, Kelly Sloan, Kellie MacDougal and Boutilier, as well as freshman keeper Melissa Coyne (11 saves).

Coyne did not allow a single free-position goal and her well-placed clears were the key to most of Roland Park's transition goals. Almost every time a deep Reds defender came up with the ball, it went to Coyne.

"When we got the ball, we looked and saw the field and there weren't many passes," said Boutilier, "so rather than force the pass and have to get into a running game, we just gave it to Melissa and we calmed it down. That way we could get a better pass."

Coyne saved free-position shots by Emily Hickman and Ginna Fingles in the last five minutes of the first half. Fakhry, however, finally broke through with six seconds left in the half when she rolled the crease and back-handed a shot Coyne could not see coming.

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