Roland Park's Allison Higgins had one chance to win yesterday's game against No. 1 Bryn Mawr and she knew she had better take advantage of it.
The junior forward scored on a penalty stroke with 11: 27 left to give the No. 3 Reds a 1-0 upset victory and hand the Mawrtians their first loss of the season.
The Reds (10-3-2) have shut out Bryn Mawr in three straight regular-season contests, but this was perhaps the most spectacular, because the veteran Mawrtians (16-1) were unbeaten and the young Reds were underdogs.
"In Roland Park-Bryn Mawr games, you've got to take everything you can," said Higgins. "You've got to step up, because you don't get that many chances."
Bryn Mawr barely gave the visiting Reds any chances yesterday on the 75th anniversary of the first field hockey game between the neighborhood rivals.
Kept at bay nearly the entire game by Mawrtians defenders Courtney Shay, Lee Wheeler, Amy Price and Kelly Noon, the Reds managed only two shots.
The Mawrtians kept the ball in their end of the field about 95 percent of the first 50 minutes. Reds coach Debbie Bloodsworth called the Mawrtians' attack "a nuclear explosion." They did everything but score.
Before Higgins' goal, the Mawrtians took 10 shots and had 14 penalty corners. They even had a penalty stroke, but Miles Whitman didn't get much power behind her stroke. She fired right at Reds goalie Molly Baker, who made the stop with her hand and then quickly kicked the ball away from the goal line.
Higgins said she thought about Whitman's stroke as she set up to take hers 12 minutes later, but Higgins' placement was perfect, high over the right shoulder of Mawrtians goalie Katie Coyne.
"I kept telling myself I had to calm down and place it," said Higgins, who is 3-for-5 on penalty strokes this season. "I looked where Katie was positioning herself and I just decided to go right and made it."
When the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division non-league game was over, the Mawrtians had missed 12 shots and 16 corner opportunities. Bryn Mawr midfielder Carey Fetting-Smith gave credit to the Reds defense of Kelsey Twist, Sarah Passano, Brooke Harwood, Alex Thomas and Baker (nine saves).
"It was hard to get our shot off because they pressured the ball really well," said Fetting-Smith. "They always had someone on the person with the ball."
The last time they met, Roland Park and Bryn Mawr tied 1-1 for the Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament championship. But their regular-season game always is surrounded by more hoopla than the championship and the Mawrtians drew a near capacity crowd to their field yesterday. The winner not only gets neighborhood bragging rights, it gets a trophy.
With the victory, the Reds retain possession of the silver pedestalled bowl that has been presented to the winner since 1960. The winner also keeps a smaller cup, engraved with the winners from 1924 to 1941. No one knows what happened to the cup bearing the winners from 1942-1959.
As the decade closed on the rivalry, the Reds ruled the 1990s, winning five times. Bryn Mawr won three. Two were ties.
Pub Date: 10/23/99