Reds rally, win, avenge playoff loss St. Paul's can't preserve halftime lead, falls, 2-1

October 23, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After No. 2-ranked Roland Park fell behind late in the first half yesterday at St. Paul's, the Reds vowed not to repeat Friday's one-goal loss to Friends.

Carey Scanlan and Elizabeth Ryan made sure.

The juniors scored second half goals to lead the Reds to a 2-1 victory over No. 9 St. Paul's in the Association of Independent Schools A Division Homer League.

The Reds' rally proved a triple comeback.

Not only did they bounce back from the first-half deficit and Friday's 1-0 loss to No. 8 Friends, they also avenged their 2-0 loss to the Gators in last year's tournament championship.

Yesterday's game proved to be mostly a battle between two of the AIS's stingiest defenses. The Reds, with 12 shutouts, have allowed just four goals and no more than one in a game. The Gators, with seven shutouts, have allowed only three goals.

Just as they had on Friday, the Reds (15-1, 3-1 league) gave up an early goal on a penalty corner.

With 6: 45 left in the half, Paola Sardi redirected Alison Polk-Williams' drive from the top of the circle. Reds back Anna Hitchner appeared to stop the ball short of the goal line, but the official said it had crossed over.

The Reds had trailed only once before -- in Friday's loss to Friends.

"It was exactly what we had to face on Friday," said Hitchner. "We knew we weren't a comeback team. We had never had to face that situation before. This time when we were behind, we knew we had to play 100 percent right from that point, which we didn't do at Friends."

The Reds rallied to tie in the first six minutes of the second half when Scanlan punched a ball out of a scuffle in front of the cage.

After the Reds defense, led by Megan Kelly and Lauren Miller, held off three Gators corners, Ryan scored the game winner with 6: 07 left. From about 4 yards in front of the cage, Ryan deflected a long drive from Whitney Jamison just inside the left post.

Although the game was nearly even in terms of possession, the Reds had several more chances in the second half than the Gators (6-2-1, 1-2).

"We started to play more defensively to protect the lead instead of going after more goals," said St. Paul's coach Eileen Alban.

The Gators defense did a terrific job in the first half holding the Reds, who have scored 41 goals, to only two shots. Goalie Laura DiCamillo saved both.

Gators back Kate Ahearn also had an exceptional game, single-handedly clearing out four of the Reds' six corners.

Pub Date: 10/23/97

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