Like the springtime this year in the Baltimore area, it took the Roland Park girls lacrosse team a while to turn up the heat.
When they finally did, the result was a a 16-9 win over C. Milton Wright in the Anne Arundel Community College girls lacrosse tournament at Annapolis High.
The No. 4 Reds (10-2) spotted sixth-ranked C. Milton Wright (5-2) an early 4-1 lead before hitting the gas pedal and scoring seven of the next eight goals to put the game away.
Cece Finney and Jenna Janes led the Reds with four goals each. Lauren Cavanaugh, Maggie Gallagher, and Lauren Haggerty led the Mustangs with two goals each.
"We tend to start a little slow, but nobody panicked," said Roland Park coach Kristin Nicolini. "That's the sign of a good team; we never lost our composure.
C.M. Wright won most of the ground balls, and took advantage of several draw controls to build their lead. With the score tied 1-1, the Mustangs got goals from Cavanaugh, Gallagher, and Haley Matthai to take a 4-1 lead with 17:35 left in the first half.
At that point, the Reds found another gear. In the space of 3:57, Roland Park used two goals from Janes, and a free position goal from Anna Hauser to tie the game with 11:53 left in the first half. Just seven seconds later after a draw control, Hauser scored another to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. They would never trail again.
The rest of the first half was all Finney. The senior scored two straight goals, then added two more after a goal by C.M. Wright to give the Reds a 9-5 lead at the break.
"I think that we just started to realize that the 50-50 balls were important," Finney said. "Once we did that, and started winning some draws, we were all right. We are a better second-half team than we are in the first half, and we need to play for the whole 50 minutes."
The second half pretty much mirrored the end of the first. The Reds outscored the Mustangs, 7-4, and were never really threatened.
Nicolini said that the team enjoys playing in tournaments like this one where they see public schools from across the state.
"We play in a great league, but we love playing other teams from around the state," she said. "This was a ranked team, and they were a quality opponent for us. They played well together, and it's good to see other teams from the area."
Roland Park 16, C. M. Wright 9
Goals: RP – Finney 4, Janes 4, Hauser 3, Bolte, Class, McGee, Salvatori, Rubino; CMW – Haggerty 2, Gallagher 2, Cavanaugh 2, Blair, Matthai, Alexander. Assists: RP – Janes 3, Bolte 2, Finney, Class; CMW – Cavanaugh, O'Mara. Saves: RP – Brager 5; CMW – Miller 19.