Brittany Friedrich has been playing some of her best lacrosse lately. Not coincidentally, so has her River Hill team.
Friedrich, a senior goalkeeper, needed to make just three saves to help the Hawks collect their sixth consecutive victory yesterday, a 16-4 thrashing of visiting Wilde Lake.
The Wildecats had been averaging 13.8 goals a contest before yesterday's game. But Friedrich and her starting defense of senior Danielle Drewyer, juniors Kara Lewis and Jackie Stromberg and sophomore Lindsay Sullivan surrendered just 11 shots to Wilde Lake.
"We played really good defense," Friedrich said. "We knew one of their strongest players was [senior midfielder] Lynlea Cronin. We just tried to keep them out of the circle and deny them the ball."
River Hill (7-1 overall, 5-1 Howard County) hasn't lost since March 25, when Hammond surprised the Hawks, 11-9. Since then, Friedrich and her defense have allowed a total of 21 goals in their six consecutive wins.
"She's a great goalie," said Cronin, a transfer from River Hill who paced the Wildecats with two goals and an assist. "I've known her for a long time."
At the outset yesterday, that reputation seemed in peril as Wilde Lake (3-2 overall and in the county) scored on its first three shots. Two goals by sophomore midfielder Kelley McAuliffe and one by Cronin tied the score at three with 16:10 left in the first half.
After Hawks coach Mike Senisi called timeout, River Hill posted six unanswered goals to lead at halftime, 9-3.
By game's end, the Hawks had four goals and four assists from senior attack Laura Hostetler. Junior attack Robyn Bishop contributed four goals and two assists, and senior attacks Sarah Ingle and Shana Myers each posted a hat trick.
"We started a little flat," Senisi said. "We talked about getting it together and refocusing. We wanted to let the game do the work for us."
Part of that strategy included daring Wildecats midfielders to make the transition from defense to offense.
"By the last five minutes of the first half, we were running into double teams and losing the ball left and right," said Wildecats coach Cheryl Lee.