Creative approach sets Reds on way to 2-0 win No. 2 Roland Park tops Severn

defense sparkles

October 16, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Roland Park junior forward Elizabeth Ryan had to get a little creative yesterday afternoon to find an answer to Severn's bumpy field in Severna Park.

Turned away from Severn's goal and the ball deflected hard and unexpectedly to her off a goalkeeper's pad, Ryan fired the only way possible from about 2 yards -- back through her legs, into the net.

The goal, with 9: 45 left in the first half, broke a scoreless tie and the No. 2-ranked Reds went on to defeat No. 13 Severn, 2-0, in an Association of Independent Schools A Division, non-league game.

"I joke around in practice, trying it sometimes, and I just got jumbled up with nowhere to go, so I had to go backward," said Ryan, who now has 10 goals to go with five assists this season. "It's a pretty bumpy field, and the balls hop up some, but it was a lot of fun. We just had to get used to it as we played."

The Reds, who have given up only two goals, improved their record to 14-0 this season, and the Admirals, though showing steady improvement in a rebuilding mode, dropped to 4-5-2.

Freshman Allison Higgins provided an insurance goal for the Reds in the second half, off a feed from Ryan with 1: 45 left in regulation. The clincher didn't come until after the Reds' defense had a chance to shine.

The Admirals' attack had a number of chances in the Roland Park circle in the second half, but Reds defenders always got to the ball first. Junior sweeper Meghan Kelly was strong on clears, particularly when Severn had some opportunities with penalty corners.

"We knew Severn would be ready after we beat them last year 1-0 during the regular season when they were No. 1 and we were unranked," Kelly said. "We wanted to raise our intensity level today, but not to the point where we were out of control. They pushed the ball down the sideline on us, but we held our ground. The key on the corners is to rush out quickly, so it's a good chance to use my speed."

Despite her team's inability to finish, Severn coach Renie Sotiropoulos was pleased with the squad's effort. She singled out the strong play of Jen Hartman, Biff Moorshead and Jen Scott.

"Half of this year's team was on the JV last season, and they are getting an idea of the level of play in the AIS," she said. "Roland Park is a very talented team, and I was glad we played as well as we did. You just have to credit their defense -- it's very aggressive. It was just a matter of them getting their sticks on the ball first."

Roland Park will put its undefeated string on the line again tomorrow against No. 8 Friends.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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