Reds dump St. Mary's in semifinal Fast starts in both halves give Roland Park 21 in row

AIS tournament

May 08, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

No last-second heroics. Not even a little suspense.

Top-ranked Roland Park jumped on visiting St. Mary's early yesterday and went on to defeat the Saints comfortably, 13-6, in their Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament semifinal.

The Reds, who now have won 21 straight games without a loss, provided the knockout punch with four straight goals to start the second half against the No. 3 team from Annapolis.

Roland Park will meet No. 2 Notre Dame Prep -- 11-8 overtime winner over No. 4 Bryn Mawr in yesterday's other semifinal -- for the championship at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Towson University.

When Roland Park and St. Mary's met in Annapolis last month in a league game, the Reds needed a last-second goal from Elizabeth Ryan to win, 12-11.

Not yesterday.

Betsy Gaines, Erin McInnes and Ryan provided a surplus of offense, accounting for 12 of the Reds' 13 goals. And led by Natalie Rothemund, Roland Park's defense did its part to contain St. Mary's potent attack.

"We didn't want it to be like the last game. So we came out fast and gave it everything we had. We kept our intensity throughout," said Gaines, who led the way with six goals and added an assist.

She, Ryan and McInnes each scored in the first six minutes to give the Reds a 3-0 lead that would extend to 8-3 at the half.

The Reds started the rainy second half the same way, building an overwhelming 12-3 lead.

St. Mary's, winner of last year's AIS championship in its first season in the league, had a small spurt midway through the second half. The Saints scored three straight goals to cut the lead to 12-6 with 9: 05 left, but the rally was too little and much too late.

Just to make sure, Roland Park coach Tara Kramer called timeout following the Saints' mini-run.

"We wanted to prove we're more than a goal better than them," she said.

St. Mary's standout Kellie Thompson, last year's Metro Player of the Year, had no answers.

"I think we were asleep in the first half, and they came out ready to play," she said. "Our heads weren't in the game. In the second half, we started stepping it up, so we ended on a good note. But we ran out of time."

Thompson led the Saints with two goals and an assist. Morgan Thalenburg also scored twice.

The Reds got three assists from Lauren Miller and a solid afternoon in goal from Meghan McInnes, who finished with seven saves.

Roland Park's last AIS championship was in 1995, the last of five straight titles.

Pub Date: 5/08/98

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