Unscored-on Roland Park rips Fallston No. 4 Reds shut down last year's 2A champs, 4-0

Field hockey

September 13, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Playing state champions certainly doesn't intimidate Roland Park's No. 4-ranked team.

Yesterday, the Reds welcomed Class 2A co-champ and third-ranked Fallston to their field for the first time with a 4-0 whipping. Last weekend, the Reds (3-0) beat Class 1A champ Pocomoke.

"Winning these games is huge," said Reds midfielder Kristin Raneri, whose team was runner-up to St. Paul's in last year's Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament. "It's a great honor to play out of the AIS and show what we can do and how good our league really is."

The Reds' greatest advantage over Fallston (1-1) was in the scoring circle, where they put tremendous pressure on the Cougars' defense, especially in the first half.

Center midfielder Erin McInnes kept the Reds on attack with a stellar effort against the Cougars' All-Metro center Kate Simon. McInnes set up three goals with her drives into the circle, and her line teammates were relentless.

Elizabeth Ryan scored two goals and Kristin Sudina and Allison Higgins had one each.

"The difference was our inability to get a good shot off and their ability to take advantage of every opportunity they had," said Cougars coach Alice Puckett. "We've got to be hungrier around the goal area."

While Fallston had stellar defensive efforts from Simon, All-Metro center back Carrie Wirth and right back Lauren Cernak, the Cougars rarely managed more than one shot per drive. Roland Park's defense, led by Lauren Miller, Meghan Kelly, Jill Casey, Anna Hitchner, Betsy Gaines, Raneri and McInnes, has not allowed a goal this season.

After Ryan and Sudina gave the Reds a 2-0 lead midway through the first half, Wirth fired a shot on a Cougars penalty corner that slammed off the post.

"That was a wonderful shot," said Puckett. "If we get that, we're down 2-1 and we've got the momentum. After that you've got to hope for a break and it didn't happen. We didn't make it happen."

The Cougars, who were outshot 11-7, had two other excellent chances to score in the second half, but Reds keeper Gretchen Crook repelled both.

The victory gives the Reds momentum going into a stretch that includes back-to-back games against No. 6 McDonogh and No. 2 Severna Park next week.

"It's a definitely an ego boost," said McInnes. "It makes us realize what we're capable of and it gives us more confidence as a team. That confidence will grow every time we take the field against a team that might be better than us."

Pub Date: 9/13/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.