Bryn Mawr comes together in win Freshman Wheeler's goal turns back Fallston, 2-1

September 11, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

On the bus to Fallston yesterday, Bryn Mawr's field hockey players thought they were headed for a preseason scrimmage with the eighth-ranked Cougars. They didn't even wear their uniforms.

By the time the game ended, though, the No. 4 Mawrtians looked as if they were in playoff form, taking a 2-1 victory in the season opener for both teams.

After Fallston tied the game at 1-1 with just under 12 minutes to go, the Mawrtians needed less than four minutes to score the game-winner.

Freshman Kate Wheeler scored on a play that started with Gailor Large's drive from outside the scoring circle.

Instead of dodging the ball, which would not have been a goal because it was shot from outside the circle, Fallston's freshman goalie Ashley Staples blocked Large's drive. It dropped a couple feet in front of her where Wheeler took the close-range shot.

After that, the Mawrtians gave Fallston no more chances, gobbling up every ball that came their way. Lisa Parks and freshman Jen Ahn made fine defensive plays to thwart Fallston attempts to rally.

The Mawrtians, by then, were playing with surprising confidence and teamwork for a squad whose roster was finalized only Monday.

"Most teams are lucky if they do this in a whole season. We did it the first game," said Mawrtians forward Kim Smith. "This just set the tone for the whole season."

Smith was largely responsible for how it all got started.

After the Mawrtians were shut out through the first 40 minutes despite eight penalty corners and 12 shots, Smith stole the ball at midfield and wove her way through the Fallston defense. She completed the break with a perfectly angled shot to put the Mawrtians ahead, 1-0.

Smith's goal sparked some life in the Cougars, who hadn't managed a shot in the first half. On a corner pass from Katie Stern, Carrie Wirth fired a ball that deflected off a defender's stick into the upper right corner of the cage to tie the game.

The Cougars do have a bit more rebuilding to do than the Mawrtians. Coach Alice Puckett had to move top attack players Wirth and Kate Simon back to bolster a defense depleted by graduation.

"Transition is our weakness," said Puckett. "We're not real quick in the backfield. We lost a lot of speed. We're working really hard to put a combination together that they're not going to score on."

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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