Pikesville upends Roland Park

September 20, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Pikesville field hockey coach Tim Fowler wanted to prove that his team could compete with the private schools, so he scheduled five-time AIS champ and No. 3 Roland Park for the season opener.

"I think the county schools have been getting a reputation of less than quality hockey compared to the private schools, so I decided to find out what the reality was," said Fowler.

Yesterday, the reality was Pikesville 2, Roland Park 1.

The visiting No. 15 Panthers used big hits, relentless pressure and two goals from Stephany Flax to take a 2-0 halftime lead. Then Laurie Better and Carly Gordon led a strong defensive effort to hold off a second-half Reds surge.

"Roland Park is a great team," said Fowler. "They've got a great tradition. This is amazing to win. It gives my kids a lot of confidence now. Some of them were kind of tight, but they found out they could play at this level."

The visiting Panthers, who reached the state Class 2A semifinals last year, took control early with forwards Flax, Beth Cohen and Laurie Weiss constantly pressing the Reds' defense.

Ten minutes into the half, Flax stole an errant Reds pass inside the 25-yard line, dribbled the ball to the edge of the circle and fired into the far end of the cage. Reds keeper Meredith Shuey (two saves), playing on the near post, never had a chance at the ball.

Flax's second goal at short range on a pass from Weiss in front of the cage came with 2:50 left in the half.

The Panthers dominated the first half even though the offensive statistics favored the Reds with four penalty corners and five shots. But the Reds threatened only in a few short spurts and Pikesville keeper Lori Baden (five saves) stopped three first-half shots.

"In the first half, we were slow," said Reds defender Ridgely Bennett. "They came out really strong. Their hustle -- that's definitely what we were lacking. Everyone was just watching and kind of thinking, 'We're Roland Park; it's gonna come right to our stick.' They had tons of drive. They just were cutting onto everything."

The Reds picked up the tempo in the second half, pressuring Pikesville's defense .

Hedy Born scored on a rebound off Baden's pads a little over seven minutes into the half.

A couple minutes later, Page Watts sent a perfect pass across the circle, but no one got a stick on it.

Both teams threatened in the final four minutes. After the Panthers' only corner of the half, Shuey saved a shot by Flax and sweeper Kellie MacDougall saved a second shot that nearly slipped into the corner of the cage.

In the final two minutes, Roland Park had a couple chances to tie with two penalty corners. On the first one, Jen Murray shot wide.

On the second, Flax proved she could play defense, too, rushing out to get a stick on the ball as Lizzy Bennett shot with less than 20 seconds left.

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