Roland Park positions itself for playoff run Reds secure top seeding with 3-0 victory over NDP

Field hockey

October 28, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Roland Park completed its regular season with eight wins against ranked teams, but none was more important than the last.

With yesterday's 3-0 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame Prep, the second-ranked Reds came out on top in the Homer League and clinched one of two top-seeded spots for the Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament, which begins next week.

"We really wanted the top seed going into the tournament," said Reds senior midfielder Erin McInnes. "It gives you a lot more confidence. We went all out during this game, because we knew we had to win."

The Reds (17-1, 4-1 in the Homer League) dealt the Pirates (6-2-4, 2-1-1) their first league loss with an aggressive defense and an opportunistic attack.

The defense, anchored by goalie Gretchen Crook (seven saves) and sweeper Lauren Miller, notched its 14th shutout even though the Pirates outshot the Reds, 13-9. The Pirates also saw more than a half dozen other balls -- most on drives by Kate Kaiser or Lauren Aumiller -- roll through the circle untouched.

"Their defense was a lot more aggressive than our offense. That was the problem," said Pirates coach Kathleen Gower.

The Reds were more aggressive all over. A prime example came early in the second half when an NDP defender slowed down while chasing a ball she thought was headed over the end line near the cage. Reds forward Elizabeth Ryan raced past her and not only saved the ball, but angled a perfect setup squarely in front of the cage.

Roland Park couldn't convert that opportunity, but the Reds didn't need it.

Allison Higgins scored her second straight game-winner with 1: 34 left in the first half. The freshman also scored in Friday's 1-0 victory at No. 6 Bryn Mawr.

On Betsy Gaines' long pass through the circle, Higgins waited near the far post and shot behind Pirates goalie Tina Morrissey, who nearly snared the ball with a diving effort.

In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Reds broke it open with goals from Carey Scanlan and Stasia Thomas. Scanlan scored off a penalty corner on an assist from McInnes. Thomas scored on a breakaway on a long crossing pass from Ryan.

No. 8 St. Paul's 1, No. 6 Bryn Mawr 0. Goalie Laura DiCamillo had to make only two saves but one was a point-blank save against Bryn Mawr's Kim Smith with 30 seconds left to preserve the Gators' ninth shutout.

Lauren Dahdah scored the game winner on a corner play in the first 12 minutes with an assist from Alison Polk-Williams as the Gators (7-2-2) edged the Mawrtians (10-2-2) in an A Division non-league game.

Fine defensive efforts by Kate Ahearn, Elaine Belitsos and Hilary Polk-Williams also helped hold off a second-half Mawrtians surge.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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