At one point during Wednesday's neighborhood rivalry between Bryn Mawr and Roland Park Country School, the host Mawrtians (7-0) were winning almost every draw and finishing more than half their shots.
Eventually, they built a commanding 10-3 lead with 10:27 remaining, weathered a late rally by the Reds (2-3) and secured a key 12-7 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference victory.
Parlaying efficient shooting with dynamic play on the circle, Bryn Mawr scored five of the first six goals in the second half to pull away from a Roland Park squad still trying to adjust from the graduation of a strong senior class that carried the Reds all the way to the 2011 final.
This time, though, seniors Kassandra Bowling and Caroline Turco and juniors Caroline Joy and Kate Snouffer made sure the Mawrtians would dominate time of possession by helping to snare 13 of the game's first 15 draws.
Early in the game, Bryn Mawr favored a relatively passive offense that still produced a 3-0 lead on two goals by senior attacker Erica Matz and one by senior midfielder Nancy Dunbar.
The first of a game-high five goals by Roland Park senior attacker Jenna Reifler cut the lead to 3-1 at the half before the Mawrtians opened the second period with goals by Joy, junior Ellie Knott and Bowling to balloon the margin to 6-1.
Reds senior midfielder Audrey Todd swiped the ball from Bryn Mawr senior goalie Molly Wolf as she was trying to clear and rifled it into the net, although another goal by Bowling and one by Snouffer countered that effort to make it 8-2 with 16 minutes to go.
Instead of milking the clock with a big lead, Bryn Mawr applied even more pressure on the defense and sophomore goalie Rachel Poverman.
"We have the kind of team that can push it this year — we're very balanced," Bryn Mawr co-coach Kim Simons said. "And because of that we create a lot of opportunities for ourselves."
The Reds did some pushing of their own late in the period, solving Wolf three times in a two-minute span to make the score more respectable.
"They shot the ball well and made the most of their opportunities," said Roland Park co-coach Reagan Ranieri, whose team shook off a 15-9 loss to Bryn Mawr in the regular season last year to prevail in a conference semifinal, 12-11. "But anything is possible in this league. Any team can beat any other team. It just depends on how well you play that day."
Goals: RP - Reifler 5, Todd 1, Angel 1; BM – Bowling 3, Dunbar 2, Joy 1, Knott 1, Matz 3, Turco 1, Snouffer 1.
Assists: RP – Bolte 1, Todd 1, Whitehurst 1, Angel 1; BM – Dunbar 1, Matz 1, Snouffer 1.
Saves: RP – Poverman 7; BM – Wolf 7.
Half: BM 3-1Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun