No. 15 Pikesville upends No. 3 Roland Park, 2-1

September 20, 1994|By Katherine Dunn and Bill Free | Katherine Dunn and Bill Free,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.

Westminster 3, Dulaney 1

The Dulaney field hockey team never had much of a chance in its opening game of the season.

The Lions ran into an angry Westminster team that dominated play all day for an impressive victory at Dulaney.

The 10th-ranked Owls, still stinging from a surprising 2-1 loss to Centennial last Friday, had a major edge in every offensive category and could have scored at least eight goals with a little more luck.

Westminster outshot the 14th-ranked Lions, 12-3, had an 11-2 bulge in penalty corners, controlled the ball 52 of the 60 minutes in the game and just missed by inches of scoring at least five more goals in the second half after bolting to a 3-1 advantage at halftime.

Dulaney senior goalkeeper Kim Copenspire was one of the few bright spots for the Lions, as she made seven saves in the second half after replacing starting goalie Liz Shanberger.

Copenspire kicked away four Westminster shots that were headed for the cage and had three other nifty saves.

In addition to the saves by Copenspire, the Owls (2-1) had four shots that rolled past the corner of the net.

The Westminster front line of Ann Brennan, Kristy Matthai, Carrie Herb and Jen Medura constantly were attacking the Dulaney cage with the help of links Corrina Batten and Megan Magee.

Herb, Matthai and Brennan scored goals for the winners, and Matthai, Brennan and Medura had assists.

Dulaney's lone goal came from Courtney Ball off a pass from Jessica Lawson.

LTC Batten and Magee made some nice passes to the Westminster forwards to set up promising scoring opportunities. Batten was given the game ball by co-coach Brenda Baker, who ran the team by herself yesterday in the absence of co-coach Sue Hooper.

Hooper was at Westminster coaching the Owls' junior varsity, which played the Dulaney junior varsity.

After giving the ball to Batten, Baker said jokingly to the junior: "Don't tell Hooper I gave a ball away."

"We were disappointed in the Centennial game because we didn't play better," said Baker. "Our girls were so hungry for the ball today that they played an almost flawless game. Everybody on the team played and they all contributed. I gave Corrina the game ball because she had nearly a perfect game and she plays a position [link] that doesn't lend itself to a lot of publicity."

Dulaney coach Melba Williams said her players "weren't aggressive enough and hid behind blue [Westminster team colors] too much. We're going to change that before the season is over."

If Williams had her choice, she would not have played such a strong team as Westminster in the opening game.

"I would have rather played somebody else," said the coach. "They have more speed, have always had a solid program and got to the ball first. But it was the kind of game we can use to grow on."

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