Roland Park goalie Melissa Coyne made 19 saves -- 13 in the second half -- to hold off host Notre Dame Prep's high-powered offense and preserve a 6-5 victory yesterday.
But Coyne wasn't about to take all the credit. The All-Metro junior gave most of it to her defensive teammates, especially line defenders Meredith Shuey, Reagan Raneri and Allison Michels.
With one of the most potent attacks in the AIS, the No. 8 Pirates had scored in double figures in every game except an 11-9 season-opening loss to Severn. Yesterday, they led 4-3 at halftime, but after the No. 6 Reds allowed that one second-half goal, they held NDP scoreless for the final 23 minutes.
"In the second half, we played much better team defense," said Coyne. "I think we were a little too quick to double [team] in the first half, but in the second half, we let our defenders play their girls and that helped me a lot as far as knowing which way the shooter was going to go. We made them take bad shots."
Some of those bad shots came as close as they could. The Pirates, who shot 16 times in the half, hit the post at least four times.
Still, Coyne did have to work for some of her saves. She stopped a couple of close-range shots and stuffed about half a dozen free-position shots.
"She had some very key saves," said Shuey. "A lot of the eight-meter shots, we had one defender on the side or even no defenders around -- very key saves."
The defensive stand may have been the biggest of the season for the Reds (8-2, 2-0 league) because it gives them the upper hand in the race for the Sinclair League title. If they win their two remaining league games, they will edge the Pirates (7-2, 3-1) for the home-field advantage when the AIS A Division Tournament, which begins May 6.
Even though the Reds played stellar defense, the Pirates hurt themselves by forcing passes inside and missing a lot of midfield ground balls.
"We couldn't really get things going," said Sheehan Stanwick, who scored three goals while her sister, Wick, scored the other two. "It was like we settled the ball down too much. We never got any momentum going."
The Pirates last lead came at 5-4 after Sheehan Stanwick, cutting across the crease one-on-one with Shuey, whipped one past Coyne.
Kristin Raneri tied it on a free-position shot with 18: 35 left before Kelly Sloan scored the game winner on another eight-meter shot. Sloan's goal, with six minutes to go, came just seconds after Pirates keeper Mary Beth Laverghetta (eight saves) made a great save on her close-range shot.
The Pirates had their chances to tie it -- especially in the final four minutes. Kate Chasney hit the pipe with one shot and then had an eight-meter attempt snared by Coyne with about two minutes left.
After Coyne's clear, Lacey Aumiller stole the ball with a check. The Pirates got the ball to their money player Sheehan Stanwick on the crease with about a minute to go, but she was called for a charge coming around against Reagan Raneri. Raneri ran it out and the Pirates never got back across midfield.
Alli Harper and Kristin Raneri led the Reds with two goals each, while Erin McInnes also scored one.
Pub Date: 4/25/96