John Carroll holds off Roland Park's charge

After dominating in first half, Patriots escape with victory

No. 6 John Carroll 12 No. 7 Roland Park 9

Girls lacrosse

March 23, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

After John Carroll's girls lacrosse team rallied from a three-goal halftime deficit to win its season opener Tuesday, the No. 6 Patriots weren't about to let No. 7 Roland Park do the same to them.

The Patriots dominated possession and jumped out to seven-goal lead, but they had to hold off the Reds' second-half surge to take a 12-9 victory in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game yesterday.

"I think they were coming after us just like we did to Seton Keough [on Tuesday] and we knew we couldn't take them lightly," Patriots midfielder Jen Zoltoski said.

In the first half, host John Carroll (2-0 overall, 2-0 conference) won 12 of 14 draws and forced nine turnovers. After two Reds goals cut the lead to 3-2, John Carroll closed the half with a 7-1 run fueled by two goals each from Allyson Carey and Grace Gaeng.

"We were coming up with the draw controls and immediately attacking, which is something we didn't do so much in the first game. It was that killer instinct - get the ball, go to goal. That really helped, because we were getting some opportunities before they could get settled on defense," John Carroll coach Krystin Porcella said.

Part of the problem for the Reds (1-1, 1-1) was their two-hour bus ride from Roland Park to Bel Air. After being stuck in traffic on I-95, they rushed through a 15-minute warm-up and needed almost a half to settle into their game.

In the second half, they did a better job of winning the ball and holding on to it. Liz Hamilton, Laura Simanski and Mary Brugger scored the first three goals of the half, before Carey caused a turnover and fed Gaeng for an 11-6 Patriots lead with 8:42 to go.

Although the Reds didn't have enough time to catch up, attacker Courtney Kirk said they learned from the comeback.

"In the second half we completely turned it around. We worked together as a team. I think this game showed us that we could finally play together, that we have a lot of chemistry now, so I think it will build up and help us and I think the loss will make us better as a team," said Kirk, who scored three of her four goals in the second half.

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