Garrison Forest, Roland Park tie

November 03, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Garrison Forest field hockey coach Micul Ann Morse said she didn't cast any magic spells or devise any secret game plans at halftime of yesterday's Association of Independent Schools showdown at Roland Park.

But in light of her team's transformation from first-half sleepwalkers to second-half dominators, other explanations were hard to come by.

After falling behind, 1-0, in a first half in which they were outshot, 14-3, the seventh-ranked Grizzlies came back to outshoot the ninth-ranked Reds, 10-1, in the second half, scoring on a goal by Missy Hopkins down the stretch to pull out a 1-1 tie.

Said Morse: "If I knew what it was, I'd use it every game."

What it turned out to be was perhaps the wackiest game in the AIS this season.

For Garrison Forest (7-0-3), it was also a clear moral victory.

"We were down . . . losing for the first time all year, and this showed we could come back," said Morse, whose team, which entered the game having surrendered one goal all season, had never trailed until Roland Park's Hedy Born scored 12:20 into the game.

"The way we responded in the second half, certainly this was a victory for us."

The Reds (8-2-2), however, played well enough in the first half to make a few claims of their own. They dominated the early going, taking 11 of the first 12 shots, and seemed to have the Grizzlies in trouble.

But, after halftime, something went drastically wrong.

"When crunch time came, we couldn't adjust to the adversity," said Reds coach Debbie Bloodsworth. "They were much more aggressive, and were moving the ball much better than we were."

The difference, according to Garrison Forest forward Missy Hopkins, was mostly a state of mind.

"In the first half we were really on our heels," said Hopkins. "We just had to focus and get into the game."

The senior co-captain said that she and her teammates began concentrating on cutting in front of Roland Park players to win balls. And the extra effort earned big dividends, as the Grizzlies held onto the ball for most of the second half.

Hopkins scored the tying goal with 6:47 left in the game, beating keeper Meredith Shiey to her left after a scramble in front of the cage, during which every offensive player touched the ball.

The lesson in all of this?

With the start of the A Division playoffs on Monday, if Roland Park can play an entire game like it played in the first half, and Garrison Forest can play an entire game like it played the second half, these two teams could meet for the championship.

"We have to learn to adapt to the pressure," said Bloodsworth. "We need to be able to play well the entire way."

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