Roland Park nudges Severna Park, 1-0 Reds' Scanlan scores in second half to win tight FalconFest duel

Field hockey

September 21, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Severna Park junior midfielder Sara Zuckerman was impressed with Roland Park's polished skills and quick passing game.

And there was mutual respect at the other end, with Roland Park junior forward Carey Scanlan noting how difficult it was getting inside the aggressive Falcons circle.

The 1997 FalconFest Tournament yesterday provided an opportunity for two of the area's best teams to get together for an early season test.

And it was No. 3 Roland Park that came away the winner, getting a second-half goal from Scanlan to slip past No. 2 Severna Park in the opener and following that with a 2-0 win over the tournament's third participant, Spalding. Severna Park (4-1) closed the day out with a convincing 5-0 win over Spalding.

The opener was everything it was built up to be and more with Severna Park, a perennial Class 4A power, meeting Association of Independent Schools power Roland Park for the first time.

After an evenly played first half, the Reds (7-0) finally broke through with 16 minutes left when Scanlan scored from the left side off an assist by junior forward Elizabeth Ryan.

Seconds before the goal, there was indecisiveness between the two referees at midfield. One called a dangerous stick on Roland Park while the referee closer to the play called a push on Severna Park.

Roland Park was quick to put the ball back in play, getting another free hit from 25 yards out to set up the game-winner.

Severna Park pressed for the equalizer, but it never came. The Falcons best chance came off a penalty corner with 6: 15 left when junior midfielder Jessica Gaither put a shot on Roland Park keeper Gretchen Crook, who stopped it with her leg pad.

"It was a very evenly matched game and it came down to the circle. We had a lot of great shots, but couldn't score," Zuckerman said.

Severna Park coach Lil Shelton, who plans on making the tournament an annual event with four teams competing, said this experience will help her Falcons down the road.

"This will help our mental toughness for the season, knowing they've been challenged. It was a good test for both teams," she said.

The Reds picked up right where they left off against Severna Park with a 2-0 win over Spalding, despite a fine 10-save effort from Cavaliers goalie Malia Swieconek.

The Cavaliers senior had a flurry of saves before freshman forward Allison Higgins was able to sneak one past her along the right side to give the Reds a 1-0 first-half lead.

In the tournament finale, Severna Park jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead against Spalding and cruised the rest of the way. Gaither led the way with two goals and an assist.

Pub Date: 9/21/97

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