The St. Mary’s and Roland Park lacrosse teams traded punches in the first half Wednesday.
Both sides scraped and clawed to tie the game at 4 at halftime. Then, St. Mary’s answered with nine goals in the second half while holding Roland Park to just one for a 13-5 victory.
It was a tale of two halves, according to St. Mary’s coach Mindy Jones.
“The greatest thing about lacrosse is that there is always a second half,” Jones said. “We knew we needed to execute our game plan. We were running on high adrenaline and weren’t able to play our game, but we settled down, got into our rhythm and our defense was on fire, which set the momentum for the rest of the game. Coming up with the draws — we were losing a couple of draws in the first half — being able to come up with those draws and to convert on offense was really a game-changer for us.”
Leading the way for the Saints (4-1) was sophomore midfielder Camryn Pfundstein, who finished with five goals. She scored her first with 16:42 remaining in the first half to give St. Mary’s a 3-2 lead, their first of the game. Pfundstein added four in the second half, at one point scoring back-to-back goals at the 12:49 and 10:15 mark to put St. Mary’s ahead 8-4.
“We saw that it was 4-4 at the half and then we said, ‘We got this. We can really change this game,’” Pfundstein said. “It’s 0-0 now. It’s a restart in the second half, we’re going to push the ball, we’re going all out. I think that really helped. Then, we started getting draws a lot more. In transition, our defense was awesome the entire game. They’re always awesome, but I think our offense really connected in the second half and I think that’s what made the game go so well.”
Gracie Driggs usually draws the attention of most opposing defenses. After all, she is committed to play lacrosse at Georgetown. On Wednesday, the scene was no different. She sliced and diced the Roland Park defense, setting the tone with two goals in first half and following up with two more in the second.
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Her goal was to be her team’s catalyst. She succeeded.
“This team is one of those that feeds off of one another,” Driggs said. “If we’re all down, we’re not playing like ourselves, but when we have one or two quick goals right off of the bat, we all get that energy and get into the mindset that we’re going to keep pushing and we’re not going to stop.
“I think that being able to just get a couple of quick ones helped propel us to get through that second half, and I think it just helped our team overall to get that idea that, ‘We’re going to win it. We’re going to take this. We just have to be patient.’”
Garrison Morrill started the game with a goal for Roland Park (0-4) at the 23:39 mark and had another at 23:39 to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. St. Mary’s came storming back with goals from Driggs (21:26), Kyra Obert (19:53) and Pfundstein (16:42) to take a 3-2 lead. Driggs added another goal with 14:42 remaining before Roland Park’s Kenzie Kowitz (8:59) and Natalie O’Neil (2:05) scored to tie the game at 4 at halftime.
Driggs opened the second half with a goal at the 23:45 mark. The Saints didn’t look back, with Obert scoring two more goals (21:14, 6:25) and Pfundstein adding four more (12:49, 10:15, 6:34, 4:30). Driggs scored her fourth goal with 8:49 remaining and Alexander Parker scored at the 5:20 mark for the 13-5 win.
“I thought our effort was there, but I found that our execution wasn’t quite where it needed to be,” Roland Park coach Meg Miller said. “[There] were some shots that didn’t fall for us, some ground balls that didn’t go our way, and I thought that they built some momentum on that. Ultimately, I thought our effort was great, again just the execution piece.”