Goal by freshman wins for Rol. Park Reds defense weathers rival Mawrtians' attack, hangs on for 1-0 victory

October 25, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

The hoopla surrounding the Roland Park-Bryn Mawr field hockey rivalry can sometimes overwhelm the game.

Not this year.

All the painted faces, goofy hats, silly costumes and screaming uproars took a back seat to the fall classic at Bryn Mawr's field yesterday.

The No. 6-ranked Mawrtians dominated, but No. 2 Roland Park came away with a 1-0 victory -- and the coveted trophy.

To understand the importance the Reds (16-1) and the Mawrtians (10-1-2) attach to this game, one need only look at the trophy.

The pedestalled cup that will adorn the Reds' trophy case for the next year is more ornate than the one awarded to the Association of Independent Schools champion.

It's also older.

The current trophy goes back 37 years, but a previous one dates back to the 1930s, commemorating one of the oldest high school rivalries in the country.

"It's such a great tradition," said Bryn Mawr senior Kate Cole, whose team won 1-0 last year at Roland Park. "We always have one of the best games with them because they're so intense."

The Reds can chalk this win up to one intense moment on attack and many of them on defense.

Allison Higgins scored the game winner with 2: 13 left in the first half. The freshman slipped the ball in from the left side after Elizabeth Ryan deflected Erin McInnes' drive outside.

The play actually started at the other end of the field when Kristin Sudina cut in front of a Mawrtians player and started the Reds rolling on the break. Sudina's steal ended almost 10 minutes of constant Bryn Mawr pressure.

"That was a very key play," said McInnes. "Bryn Mawr is a very persistent team, so you have to take everything you can get. Kristin cutting in front of that girl -- when anybody does something like that it gives the whole team an extra boost of confidence."

The Reds needed it, because they never got another shot.

Only a terrific defensive effort by Lauren Miller, Megan Kelly, Anna Hitchner, Kelsey Twist, Betsy Gaines and goalie Gretchen Crook preserved the Reds' 13th shutout.

Bryn Mawr had seven shots and five penalty corners in the second half -- most in the last 11 minutes as a light rain picked up.

Crook made three saves in the half and played at least a half dozen other balls to keep the Mawrtians off her toes.

The junior keeper stopped two shots after a Bryn Mawr corner with 10 minutes left. Jen Ahn sent the ball up top where Cole drilled the first shot. Then Erin Quist hit Crook's pads with the rebound.

A minute later, Miller shanked the wet ball on a free hit right to Mawrtians' top gun Kim Smith. Smith dribbled into the circle but had trouble angling her shot in the wet grass and missed the cage.

Cole, Smith and Ahn each had shots in the final 2: 31, but Crook stopped Cole's,and the others carried wide.

The loss -- their first of the season -- did nothing to deflate the Mawrtians, who hope for a rematch in the AIS tournament.

"I've never seen our team play so well," said Smith. "It's a good sign that we're playing this well going into tournament. I'm not disappointed at all."

Pub Date: 10/25/97

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