For the first 25 minutes, the Severn field hockey team played what Coach Cathy Schorreck called "probably the best hockey I've ever seen,and I don't think anyone would disagree."
The last 25 minutes nearly defied explanation. And no one would disagree with that, either.
The top-seeded Admirals dominated every facet of the first half of yesterday's Association of Independent Schools Tournament game, outshooting eighth-seeded Friends, 8-0, and taking a 1-0 lead.
But the visiting Quakers stunned Severn with two goals within a six-minute span of the second half to spring a 2-1 upset.
They advance to Thursday's semifinal round against the winner of yesterday's Bryn Mawr-Notre Dame Prep game. The finals are Saturday at St. Paul's.
The Admirals were coming off a 2-0 victory over Park last Wednesday in their regular-season finale, the 11th shutout for junior goalie Christy Cole.
She appeared well on her way to No. 12 when the Quakers (6-3-2) suddenly came to life, killing any hopes Severn had of winning theAIS Tournament and ending the Admirals' season at 13-2-2.
When asked what caused the sudden turnaround, Schorreck shook her head and said, "I have no idea, I have no idea.
"At halftime, we did not congratulate ourselves, we did not get excited about how well we were doing. We tried to look at (the second) half as being even harder than the first. But all of a sudden, people stopped sprinting and stopped putting their all into the entire half."
Severn took a 1-0 lead with 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half when senior inner Anne Schorreck scored her team-leading 13th goal during a scramble in front of the net. Senior Cristina Brill was credited with an assist on the play, which was set up by the Admirals' sixth penalty corner.
The only semblance of offense Friends had to show for the first 25 minutes was one penalty corner, which came with 11 minutes left. Otherwise, the Admirals were in complete control.
Then, they lost control, and the game.
Once play resumed, the Quakers finally managed their first two shots, with junior midfielder Heather Bohanan making good on the second attempt at 2 minutes, 38 seconds. Sharp passes from teammates Vanessa Coe and Carrie Mallonee set up Bohanan for the tying goal, with Cole only able to swipe at the ball with her right leg.
Two Friends' shots later, the score was 2-1. Cole made a kick save, but Bohanan was there to knock in the rebound.
Quakers goalie Katrina Abarcar stopped a Katie Burrows' shot with 12 minutes left, andthe Admirals never again seriously threatened the lead.
Friends coach Carol Samuels wished she could take credit for an inspirational halftime talk that turned the game around, but she said her players already had taken care of that.
"I was a little late coming over and they were already sorting it out," she said. "I think that's probably one of the things I'm proudest of, that they know what adjustmentshave to be made."
Afterward, Schorreck gathered her dejected players in a tight circle and hugged each one.
"I expected to have a good team. I knew who was coming out and I knew exactly what my players were like and their potential," she said. "I'm really proud of themall.