Roland Park goalie Gretchen Crook felt an angel on her shoulder yesterday as she made 10 saves to lead the No. 3 Reds to a 2-1 victory over No. 1 Severna Park in the Sally Nyborg Tournament.
Crook knew the angel by name.
"I know Sally was with us," said Crook, of former teammate Sally Nyborg, who died in May of complications from lupus.
The Reds retired Nyborg's number 26 last spring and began the tournament this year in her memory.
"To beat the No. 1 team, on this particular day especially, means a whole lot to us because we dedicated this game to Sally," said Crook. "We keep her in our hearts every day. When we think we don't have enough to keep going, we think of her and she keeps pushing us."
Among her saves against the Falcons, Crook stopped a penalty stroke and made a diving stick deflection to hold off a power-packed attack that had outscored its first four opponents, 24-1.
Later, Crook had three saves and made several critical clears in overtime to preserve a 0-0 tie with St. Stephen's/St. Agnes of Alexandria, Va., the top private school team in the northern Virginia-Washington area.
Crook and the host Reds (6-0-1), however, had the most to gain by beating Severna Park (5-1) in what has become a hot cross-league rivalry in only its second year. The Reds, who won last year's meeting, 1-0, will claim the No. 1 ranking in The Sun's next Top 15 poll.
Yesterday, Kristin Sudina scored the game-winner with only 1: 55 left in the game on an assist from Elizabeth Ryan.
The Reds never trailed after a Betsy Gaines-to-Allison Higgins combination put them ahead less than four minutes into the game. However, the Falcons stormed right back as All-Metro midfielder Sara Zuckerman made the most of a broken corner play, catching Crook out of position for a shot into the corner.
But Crook would yield nothing more, shutting out the Falcons for the final 44 minutes. She made a fine split save against Lynsey Bateman, but the official called a penalty stroke when the ball got jammed against her pads with 26 seconds left in the half.
Beth Davis took the stroke, but didn't get any power behind it and it rolled right at Crook's feet.
Midway through the second half, Crook made a terrific stick save against Jess Mundt. The uncontested shot caught her moving left while Mundt shot to the right, but Crook dived to make the deflection off the end of her stick.
"She made some nice saves, because we peppered the goal," said Falcons coach Lil Shelton, whose team had a 13-8 edge in shots.
In their second game, the Falcons rebounded with a 2-0 win over No. 10 Mount Hebron (3-2). Erin Shaklee and Davis scored as the Falcons outshot the Vikings, 13-3.
Pub Date: 9/20/98