Reds dominate No. 3 Notre Dame Prep, 12-4 (VIDEO HERE!!)

Chelsea Kovinsky (left) led the RPCS offense with five goals and an assist and goalkeeper Amber Bustard made nine saves, including seven in the second half, to help the Reds rout NDP in the PNC Lacrosse Invitational.

by Gary Adornato
Coming in on the heels of two consecutive league losses in which they scored a total of just 13 goals, No. 10 Roland Park Country School knew a quick start was imperative if it hoped to remain competitive with third-ranked Notre Dame Prep in the opening game of the PNC Lacrosse Invitational, Saturday evening at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Reds got the quick start they hoped for and it did more than keep them competitive.
RPCS erupted for nine first half goals, including four by senior attack Chelsea Kovinsky, building a 9-3 lead as they cruised to surprisingly easy 12-4 win over the Blazers in an IAAM A Conference contest.
Kovinsky, who netted five goals in all and added an assist, was the primary finisher and she broke the game open late in the first half. With her side leading 5-3, Kovinsky scored three times in the final six minutes, 37 seconds of the first half to help stretch a two goal advantage into a six goal bulge.
“The past few games we’ve played pretty bad,” said Kovinsky. “We weren’t playing like a team. We were playing like we played last season. This time we turned it around. We came out ready to play. We were ready to play as a team and we knew what we wanted to do before we stepped out on the field.”
Another key performer for the Reds (3-2 overall, 1-2 IAAM A) was sophomore midfielder Shannon Smith, who won 12-of-17 draws, including 10-of-12 in the first half, and she netted a hat-trick. In addition, Kiki Shaw added two goals and two assists.
RPCS coach Kim McNemar did not want her girls to feel pressure, despite the recent losses.
“We executed what we asked and the biggest point was to have fun and enjoy this moment,” said McNemar. “We are not going to get a lot of chances to play in a stadium like this, under the lights and TV. My big thing was to come out here and have fun and everything will fall into place and that’s what they did.”
NDP (2-2, 0-2 IAAM A) was able to slow the Reds down in the second half and enjoyed considerable possession as the Blazers went from trailing in shots, 13-7, to winning the second half 11-5. Unfortunately for the Blazers those additional opportunities did not translate into goals and the main reason for that was the play of RPCS junior goalkeeper Amber Bustard.
Bustard finished with nine saves, with seven of those coming in the second half, including many at point-blank range.
“My team came around me and played great in front of me, so I was able to make those stops,” said Bustard. “I guess I really got in the zone and I know we really needed this big win, so I stepped it up.”
NDP coach Mac Ford could do little more than tip his hat to Roland Park.
“They had possession. They did a great job on the draw. They came up with ground balls, 50-50 balls,” said Ford. “We got out of our defense a little too quick, which is my fault, and they were able to capitalize. We just didn’t put the ball in the cage when we had the opportunities.”
Nancy Halleron scored twice to lead NDP, while Hannah Mardiney had a goal and an assist. In addition, M.P. Suter scored for the Blazers and Caitlynn Mossman had two assists.
With both Roland Park and NDP each already owning two league losses, McNemar pointed out the parity in the A Conference and the fact that it will be back and forth all year.
“In this league you can’t ever take anybody lightly,” said McNemar. “You just never know. Every game is hard and I think its going to be like that, up and down.”
Pictured above: RPCS’ Shannon Smith makes a move, while NDP’s Nino Mainello defends.
RPCS 9 3 — 12
NDP 3 1 — 4
GOALS: RPCS-Chelsea Kovinsky 5, Shannon Smith 3, Kiki Shaw 2, Sierra Cockerville 1, Alex Goles 1; NDP-Nancy Halleron 2, Hannah Mardiney 1, M.P. Suter 1.
ASSISTS: RPCES-Kiki Shaw 2, Sierra Cockerville 1, Chelsea Kovinsky 1, Kendall Lambert 1; NDP-Caitlynn Mossman 2, Hannah Mardiney 1.
SAVES: RPCS-Amber Bustard 9; NDP-Drew Yager 2, Vanessa Stamas 2.
DRAWS: RPCS, 12-5.
SHOTS: 18-18