St. Paul's regains its tournament stride Gators come from behind to down N.D. Prep, 2-1

Field hockey

October 30, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After hitting a rough patch in midseason, No. 9-ranked defending champion St. Paul's is making a smooth run toward next week's Association of Independent Schools tournament.

Yesterday's come-from-behind 2-1 victory over No. 13 Notre Dame Prep marked the second time in three days that the Gators (8-2-2) have edged a top A Division team. They nipped No. 6 Bryn Mawr, 1-0, on Monday.

"We've definitely struggled at times, but we've learned to keep our composure," said Gators defender Kate Ahearn. "Up until this game, we'd never been losing and come back. Mostly after the other team would get a goal, we'd be trying to play defense instead of staying aggressive on attack.

"This game really showed us that we can be down and if we play offensively, we can still come back."

The Gators rallied behind two breakaway goals from Paola Sardi in the second half.

Each time, Sardi came in from the left to fire the ball behind Pirates goalie Tina Morrissey. Jenny Landsman assisted on the first goal with 18: 20 left in the game.

Not three minutes later, Ahearn sparked another break with a pass to the middle for Alison Polk-Williams, who drove the ball to Sardi for the game winner.

Both times, the Gators caught the Pirates defense too far upfield.

"We weren't recovering back fast enough," said Pirates sweeper Mary Beth LaVerghetta. "They picked up the intensity a little bit and we got stuck behind."

LaVerghetta scored the Pirates' goal midway through the first half on a penalty corner, assisted by Kate Kaiser.

The Pirates (6-3-4) had 10 other corners, but managed just four shots. Gators keeper Laura DiCamillo preserved the victory with her only save of the second half with four minutes to go. Ahearn and Marcela Sardi also cleared away two of four NDP corners in the last seven minutes.

The Gators' mid-season slide -- they were 2-2-2 until Monday's win -- began when senior sweeper Alyson Bowyer was sidelined for the season with mononucleosis. Since then, Ahearn has emerged as the defensive leader and she, Marcela Sardi, Erin Oglesby and freshman Kelly Noon have developed into a solid unit.

"The middle of our season was kind of rocky with Alyson going out," said Ahearn, "but we've stepped it up and this is great for us going into the tournament. These two wins are really strong."

The victory pulled the Gators into a three-way tie with NDP and Friends at 2-2-1 for second place in the Homer League behind No. 2 Roland Park.

Garrison Forest 1, Friends 0: Mindy Walman scored off a penalty corner with no time left in the first half and the No. 7 Grizzlies (6-1-6) held on to defeat the host No. 15 Quakers (6-6-3) in an A Division game.

Pub Date: 10/30/97

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