The defense never rested for Notre Dame Prep.
Co-No. 8 Notre Dame Prep's defense, led by goaltender Erin Graham, turned in a strong effort to make Tricia Cummings' first-half goal stand up for a 1-0 victory over host and No. 3 Bryn Mawr in a battle of undefeated Association of Independent Schools A Division teams yesterday.
Cummings came through early for the Pirates, scoring with 15:27 left in the first half with assists from Allison Smith and Heather Castle.
The play started when Castle sent the ball toward the goal. Smith tipped it, and Cummings then knocked it past goalie Kristen Garro and into the cage.
"I just saw the ball . . . and deflected it in," said Cummings, the team's leading scorer with six goals and five assists.
Notre Dame Prep (7-0-1, 2-0-1) then needed a big effort from the defense because Bryn Mawr (6-1-1, 3-1-1) kept pressuring. The Mawrtians outshot the Pirates, 16-7 -- including an 8-0 second half.
"We've got a very strong defense," said Notre Dame Prep coach Kathleen Bathon. "All the backs and the sweeper have really saved us, and Erin has been on fire this year."
Bryn Mawr kept Graham (12 saves) busy in the second half, when she made seven of her saves. The Mawrtians kept the ball in the Notre Dame Prep end for much of the second half and most of the final 10 minutes.
The defense allowed few good shots, but Bryn Mawr did get a great opportunity with about seven minutes left. Christine Lazatin got a ball in front of the right post, but Graham stopped the shot with her pads.
"The defense came through," Graham said.
Graham got help from the starting defense of Castle, Katie Shaab, Gretchen Ginter and Nicole Breschi. Bryn Mawr kept pushing, but had trouble near the cage.
The defense has been stingy all season, giving up only two goals and posting five shutouts.
"The defense, overall, has been strong," said Bathon. "They really are very consistent."
The Bryn Mawr offense, led by Lazatin, Dabney Varner, Sara Jordan and Nancy Kim, also was consistent. They came up with numerous scoring chances but couldn't finish them.
For example, in the final moments of the first half, the Mawrtians had three corner hits and came up empty. In the opening moments of the second half, they had two more and also got nothing.