Roland Park surprised by St. Paul's, 2-1

Field hockey

September 29, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After taking a two-goal lead in the first half of yesterday's field hockey game against No. 3 Roland Park, No. 10 St. Paul's headed into the timeout huddle in celebration.

Senior Molly Ahearn warned her young teammates that the visiting Reds would not go away so easily. The celebration abruptly ended, and the Gators focused on holding off the relentless Reds long enough to emerge with a 2-1 victory in a key Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference Homer Division game.

The win could turn out to be critical in tournament seeding, because the Gators (5-2) improved to 2-0 in the division after beating perhaps their toughest two Homer foes - the Reds (1-3-1, 0-1) and No. 7 Archbishop Spalding (6-1, 2-1) - this week.

Carrie Thieman scored what would prove to be the game-winner yesterday 22 minutes into the first half, but Ahearn, an All-Metro defender, didn't want her teammates to forget the game's first eight minutes. During that span, the Reds racked up six penalty corners while the Gators managed to get the ball into the Reds' scoring circle once.

"Roland Park is a really skilled, very competitive team," Ahearn said, "so we knew they weren't going to give up that easily. They're a team like us. They're not going to stop until they get what they want, so we wanted to make sure we stayed on our toes."

The Reds' attack kept the Gators hopping, eventually finishing with a 17-4 edge in penalty corners and a 13-3 advantage in shots. Only nine saves from Elizabeth Jordan and stellar defensive efforts from Danica Strutt, Allison Schindler and Alexandra Eagan preserved the St. Paul's win.

While the Reds struggled to finish, the Gators scored on their first two shots. Megan Del Monte scored first, assisted by Kristin Connelly on a corner play. Del Monte, a freshman, assisted on the second goal with a crossing pass that Thieman deflected into the cage.

The Reds broke through on their 15th corner play of the game.

Facing three quick shots in succession, Jordan saved the first and Strutt stopped the second, but neither could reach the third as Kinsey Morrison deflected a Cassie Harvey pass into the left corner.

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