Roland Park's Allison Higgins knew her team would have to be smart on attack to beat Notre Dame Prep goalie Rachel Zeller yesterday.
"Last year, I remember her just stuffing us," said Higgins, "and [yesterday] our attack really focused on faking her and it worked."
Higgins scored five goals to lead the No. 4 Reds over No. 7 NDP, 12-4, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference nonleague game.
Not that Zeller played poorly -- she finished with 11 saves, the same number as in last year's 11-11 regular-season tie. Then, in last season's 11-6 tournament win over the Reds, she made 12 saves.
But there wasn't much more Zeller could have done yesterday against a Reds offense that seemed in cruise control at times. It outshot the host Blazers, 27-15.
The Reds (4-0-1) scored the first six goals of the game on eight shots. Higgins capped the run with a transition goal with 8: 04 left in the first half.
By halftime, the Reds had scored seven goals on 12 shots and had a 7-1 lead.
Patient on their settled attack, the Reds worked for the best shots, often ending up with one-on-ones against Zeller.
The Blazers (5-2) couldn't build any offensive momentum because they couldn't hold onto the ball. They turned it over often in their settled attack, including four of their first five possessions, helping the Reds get off to their quick start.
"We were forcing the ball," said NDP center Lauren Keller. "Their defense was good, but we could have made better choices."
The Reds' defense kept the Blazers from striking on transition, which is usually one of their strengths.
Although NDP won 12 of 18 draws, the Roland Park's tight defense between the circle and the 30-yard line didn't allow the Blazers to take any of those possessions to goal.
Reds goalie Meghan McInnes also also had a strong effort, finishing with nine saves.
She made two saves late in the first half to keep the Blazers from gaining any spark toward the second half.
No. 14 Mount de Sales 9, No. 9 Maryvale 4: Gail Decker and Monica Buck had five points each to lead the Sailors (8-1) to an upset win over the Lions (5-2).
The Sailors ran up a 5-1 halftime lead en route to their fifth straight victory. Goalie Rachel Sybor made nine saves.
Kate Killen had a goal and two assists for the Lions, who have lost two straight.