Focused St. Paul's finishes Reds, title 2-0 win gives No. 3 Gators their first AIS crown

November 10, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

The new St. Paul's signs and T-shirts will read, "Finished."

The No. 3 Gators rode two years worth of determination to their first Association of Independent Schools A Division field hockey title winning yesterday's tournament final, 2-0, over No. 5 Roland Park.

"It feels like something we had to do, something we were meant to do," said All-Metro midfielder Sarah Oglesby. "It feels great, because everybody contributed and that's what our team is all about."

With a new motto, "Focus. Finish," the Gators (11-0-5) were more determined than ever to win, especially after losing last year's title game, 1-0, to Garrison Forest.

But the Reds, the league's most improved team, did not make it easy. With strong defense and 10 saves by Gretchen Crook, the Reds (12-2-3) held off the Gators into the final six minutes.

The Gators' hopes for an outright title appeared even dimmer when Oglesby missed a penalty stroke with 5: 25 left in the game.

Instead of the end, it was just the beginning for the Gators.

"After that," said Oglesby. "I said, 'We have to get it right here. We have to turn it around now.' "

And 12 seconds later she did, with help from Mills Hook.

Oglesby blocked the Reds' free hit about 28 yards out, pulled the ball right and slammed it toward the goal. Hook waited 12 yards from the cage and with perfect timing, wound up and drove it in.

The Gators never again let up.

"We didn't want a repeat of what happened last time," said Hook, of the 1-1 regular-season meeting. "Roland Park tied us in the last 30 seconds. It was great that Michelle finalized it for us."

Michelle Wachter added the insurance goal on a breakaway pass from Libby Hoyle with 14 seconds left.

Goalie Joanna Renner kept the Gators in position to win with a terrific reaching stick save against Elizabeth Ryan early in the second half. Renner, the hero of Thursday's shootout win over No. 6 Bryn Mawr, finished with five saves.

The Reds, who hold the record for championship appearances with 10 in 17 years, including seven titles, knew they had no reason to be unhappy with their effort.

"It was tough [to lose]," said Reds forward Alli Harper, "but I've never seen our team play that well, so I don't feel bad at all. We've had such a good season. Just to be considered nothing [at the beginning of the season] and almost get to the top is amazing."

John Carroll 0, Oldfields 0: Dealey Campbell made eight saves to preserve an overtime tie for defending champ Oldfields (4-8-3) against top-seeded John Carroll (5-7-3) in the AIS B Division championship at St. Paul's. After 10 minutes of 11-on-11 overtime, the teams were declared co-champs.

Campbell's biggest stop came with 10 minutes left when she came out to make an aggressive save against Kristen McGraw one-on-one. The senior also made a key play in overtime, coming out to clear Jennifer Gray's crossing pass with two Patriots open.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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