R. Park turns back St. Mary's

Early defense leads way in No. 3 Reds' 10-7 win

Girls lacrosse

April 23, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

An early defensive stand, led by goalie Meghan McInnes, set the tone for No. 3 Roland Park's 10-7 victory over No. 7 St. Mary's yesterday.

Although the Saints took a 1-0 lead on Kelly Moran's goal, the Reds' defense stifled at least six other scoring opportunities in the first eight minutes. McInnes snatched a point-blank effort by Lana Smith on the first shot of the game and finished with 11 saves.

"She made some excellent, key saves, especially in the beginning," said Reds defender Meghan Kelly. "When Meghan starts making great saves, she gets on a roll."

The host Reds (11-1-1) clinched the Lears League title with a 6-0 mark. They will have a bye in the opening round of the Association of Independent Schools A Division Tournament, which begins May 3. The Saints (8-6) dropped to 4-1 in the Lears League.

Yesterday, McInnes also got a lot of help from the rest of the Reds' defensive cast -- Kelly, Stasia Thomas, Sarah Rogers, Kristin Sudina, Caline McHenry and Joanna Mooney.

The Reds needed that defensive stand, because their offense did not click until midway through the half. Kelly's ground ball in the defensive end set up Elizabeth Ryan's transition goal to tie the game with 16: 20 to go in the half.

McInnes then made two saves before Ryan fed Betsy Gaines for back-to-back goals and a 3-1 lead with 10: 22 left until halftime. The Saints would never catch up.

Early in the second half, Elise Warfield, Whitney Jamison and Gaines scored consecutive goals for a 7-2 lead. After Jamie Motley and Briar Davis cut the margin to 7-4, Gaines scored twice and Jamison once to put the Reds ahead 10-4 with 3: 38 left.

Kelly Coppedge, Smith and Morgan Thalenberg scored in the final 2: 48, but time ran out on the Saints' comeback attempt.

The Saints outshot Roland Park, 22-15, and controlled 15 of 19 draws, including 10 of 11 in the second half. But the Reds scored on six of seven second-half shots and excelled on transition.

"If we lost the ball on the offensive end, we had a real tough time recovering and getting back to mark their midfielders, so a lot of times they had man-up situations," said Saints junior Courtney Thorton, who had an exceptional defensive game, as did Kate Hardesty and Jess Mikula.

No. 9 Towson 15, Dulaney 12: Senior midfielder Lindsay Buchanan scored six goals and added an assist to lift the Generals (6-2) in the Lacrosse Classic at Towson University's Minnegan Stadium.

Junior attacker Marlena Wittelsberger led the Lions (5-2) with four goals and two assists, and her sister, Lauren Wittelsberger, contributed a hat trick and two assists.

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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