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Roland Park loses to Brighton in girls lacrosse

Roland Park coach Kristin Nicolini still is waiting for her team to play two halves of lacrosse this season.

The Reds played well in the first half against Brighton, of New York, Saturday, leading for about half of that span, but they sputtered in the second half.

It added to a 13-8 loss — the sixth straight for Roland Park.

"We haven't put together 50 minutes yet," Nicolini said. "We are capable of doing it. Our defense wasn't stopping the shots today. We were making some careless mistakes on the offensive end. I think that really changed the game."

University of Florida recruit Cece Finney, a junior midfielder, scored three goals for Roland Park (2-6). Sophomores Francesca Whitehurst (2 goals, 2 assists) and Jenna Janes (1 goal, 1 assist) and freshman Anna Hauser (2 goals) also scored for the Reds.

Junior attacker Lauren Smolensky led the Barons with five goals and teammates Emilie Goldman and McKenzie Harris each added two goals.

The first half looked good to Roland Park, which was coming off a 18-11 loss to Maryvale Thursday.

Whitehurst scored on a free-position shot, beating junior goalie Sara Tullio low to give the Reds a 3-1 lead with 16:26 remaining.

Roland Park also led 4-2 about six minutes later. 

"I thought we were erratic in the first half," Brighton coach Richard Curtis said. "They put a lot more pressure on us in the first half, which caused a lot of turnovers." 

The game was tied twice in the final 7:50, including 5-5 at halftime.

Carly Randall scored on a free-position shot three minutes into the second half to put Brighton ahead to stay.

After that goal, the Barons (3-1) didn't waste time establishing control, scoring five of the next six goals.

Roland Park trailed 12-8 with three minutes remaining when Nicolini pulled sophomore goalie Riley Brager (4 saves) when Brighton was stalling to protect its lead.

It didn't work. The Barons finished the scoring 23 seconds later on Clare McKenna's goal.

"When we come down here, we have to feel out the team we are playing," Curtis said. "Every team plays a little different. It took us a while to feel them out. In the second half, I thought we played pretty well." 

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