Stunned early, No. 1 Towson rallies to beat St. Paul's, 4-1

Tourney host scores first, but can't find goal again

Field hockey

September 22, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

At the St. Paul's Field Hockey Tournament yesterday, the No. 7 Gators surprised No. 1 Towson by doing something that no other team had been able to do for nearly a year -- score first. Towson hadn't even given up a goal through its previous 11 games dating to Oct. 11.

The thrill of the Gators' goal, however, would be short-lived.

Their lead lasted less than four minutes, and Towson later broke open a hotly contested game with three goals in the final 10:15 for a 4-1 victory.

Erin Walsch scored the game-winner, rushing a loose ball after Gators defender Leslie Koch made a goal-line stick save on Jocelyn Paul's shot.

Paul, who scored Towson's first goal, and Kelly Ball added two goals for the Generals (6-0) in the final 3:45.

Towson defender Alley Firey said St. Paul's first goal -- scored by Caitlin Sloane on a perfect cross from Carrie Thieman -- shocked the Generals.

"That goal was a reality check," said the senior back. "It happened so fast. We didn't expect it. They had a good hit down the field and I don't think we were set up."

The Gators (5-1-1) played well until the final minutes, despite being without veteran forward Claire Edelen, who was on a college visit, and despite completing a 3-0 win over St. Mary's just an hour before playing Towson.

"After they started scoring, it just reminded us that we were really tired," Thieman said. "After their second goal, we kind of started to get down on ourselves."

The game remained 1-1 for almost 45 minutes before Walsch's goal. The St. Paul's defenders made several stick saves, including back-to-back stops by Alexandra Eagan and Koch late in the first half.

But when Walsch rushed a rebound, no one could get a stick in front of her shot.

"I saw it going in and I was so upset because somebody saved it," said Paul, who took the initial shot. "Then Erin came from nowhere and just like -- bam."

After a stop, the Generals quickly earned a penalty corner. Sam Merrick passed the ball out to Paul, who scorched it 15 yards and off goalie K.C. Burke's pads for a 3-1 lead.

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