Roland Park's Peggy Boutilier feels comfortable anywhere on the hockey field -- except maybe the goal cage.
Yesterday, however, that's just where the All-Metro midfielder found herself as the No. 3 Reds made a tremendous last-second stand against unranked Maryvale.
Boutilier, who stayed back when Reds keeper Eleanor Cordi stepped up against the attack, lunged to make a stick save with about five seconds left.
That preserved a 2-1 victory over visiting Maryvale (0-1-2 overall, 0-1-1 league) in an Association of Independent Schools A Division league game.
"When Eleanor came out, I was going back to protect behind her," said Boutilier. "Then I saw a Maryvale girl to the left, and she shot. It was going really close to the pole, so I reached, and it hit my stick and rolled out."
That last-second stand saved the defending AIS A Division champion Reds from a second straight disappointment. Last week, McDonogh stunned the Reds, 2-1.
But yesterday the Reds (2-1, 1-1) just had too much for Maryvale. Their sensational midfielders Boutilier, Brent McCallister and Elizabeth Rodgers as well as powerhouse center forward Catherine Passano and wings Hedy Born and Lizzy Bennett put plenty of pressure on the Maryvale defense.
Bennett scored the first goal late in the first half. McCallister made it 2-0 10 minutes into the second half. Passano narrowly missed on at least a half-dozen shots.
"Our defense could have done a little better job," said Maryvale coach Teddi Willis. "There were too many free people in the circle. Luckily, they didn't capitalize on some of them, but we have to do a better job of picking up the free person."
By the time the Reds pulled ahead by two goals, the Lions had managed just one shot on goal. In the game, the Reds outshot Maryvale, 21-6, and only smart play by keeper Mary Kate Morris (nine saves) kept the Lions close.
Once the Lions finally broke through, however, they kept coming.
On a break, Lacie Litz hammered a perfect pass ahead to Meghan Doyle. When the ball got past the last Reds defender, Doyle took it in for a goal with 7:54 left in the game.
Although the Lions managed just two shots after that score, they relentlessly pushed the Reds back on defense for most of the remainder ofthe game.
In the final minute, the Lions came as close as they could to tying -- and not just on the shot Boutilier saved. Two perfect passes crossed in front of the goal, but no Lions could get a stick on them.
Willis said the Lions need to find a way to spark the offense before the final 10 minutes of the game.
"We tend to hang back too much and wait until it's absolutely necessary to start the fire. We haven't been a very offensive team in the past," Willis said. "This year we're capable of it, but we have to find a way to do it sooner."