Carey Fetting-Smith could not have found a more dramatic way to bring her Bryn Mawr field hockey career to an end.
The All-Metro midfielder scored with no time left on the clock to give the No. 2 Mawrtians a 1-0 victory over No. 4 Roland Park in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tournament championship yesterday at Garrison Forest.
The Mawrtians' fourth straight private schools title came on a penalty corner awarded with four seconds left in the game. Corners called just before time expires are played out, and Fetting-Smith won a scuffle in front of the cage, nudging in the game-winner about 10 seconds after the clock had run out.
"I was completely relieved," said Fetting-Smith, with a laugh, "and I was so happy for my team and what we've accomplished."
The Mawrtians (20-0-2) have gone 43-1-2 since the IAAM debuted last season. The only team that has kept the Mawrtians from perfection was Roland Park, which also tied Bryn Mawr for the tournament title in 1998.
Yesterday, the Reds (15-5-3) were stunned by the loss, especially after shutting out their neighborhood rivals for the full 60 minutes.
"We were just in shock," said Reds coach Debbie Bloodsworth. "Nobody could speak. What could we say?"
The deciding corner was awarded after a Reds player, attempting to clear the ball out of her circle, undercut the hit, sending the ball dangerously high into the air.
Fetting-Smith, a national under-21 team player, and coach Jeanette Budzik called a corner play, using short passes that gave them a better chance to keep the ball within the circle. Had it gone out, the play - and regulation - would have ended, sending the game into overtime.
Kimmy Quicksilver started the play by hitting the ball off the end line to Fetting-Smith, positioned low on the circle. She passed back to Quicksilver, who took aim at the penalty stroke line.
"It just kind of passed me and got all jumbled up," Fetting-Smith said. "I saw the ball down near the end line, so I went down on my knees and got it with my stick and it trickled over the end line."
Said Reds defender Alex Thomas, "It was a good centering pass that got past our first string of defense and then it was all just a clump. It was just one of those hits behind the goalie. It was hard for the goalie to see."
Roland Park goalie Brooke Harwood had saved Sarah Sanborn's shot off a corner play with 3:19 remaining. The senior keeper finished with three saves, splitting time with Molly Baker, who also made three saves.
For Fetting-Smith and Sanborn, who have played on all four title teams, the victory was particularly sweet. Their leadership was instrumental in successfully rebuilding the team after graduating 12 seniors from last year's squad.
"This is unbelievable," Sanborn said. "It really felt like we put it in together, and that's the way we played the whole season. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to play with this team."
Glenelg Country School won its first field hockey championship behind a three-goal performance from Christine Corkran to beat St. Timothy's, 4-1, in the IAAM B Conference final at Garrison Forest.
Corkran scored the first three goals to give the Dragons a commanding 3-0 lead with 20:50 left in the game. On the first two, the senior forward stood unmarked in front of St. Timothy's goalie Teresa Church and redirected crosses from Nikki Harbick and Katie Bauer. Her third goal came on a breakaway feed from Molly Walker.
After Stephanie Everd put St. Timothy's on the board with 13 minutes left, Allison Rabinowitz added an insurance goal for the Dragons to match the score of their regular-season meeting.