Grizzlies earn 'A' title

Varsity Iaam Field Hockey Championships

November 03, 2008|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,

Liza Blue said she and her Garrison Forest teammates were a little nervous early in yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference field hockey final.

They had a lot to live up to after returning every starter from last year's championship team, but it didn't take them long to get over the jitters.

Blue assisted on two goals by Catie Merrick, eight and 12 minutes into the game, to spark the No. 4 Grizzlies to a 4-0 victory over No. 11 Archbishop Spalding for their second straight A Conference title at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field.

"We're pretty much the same team as last year," Blue said, "and it helps to be a unit from year to year. From start to finish, we just communicated well."

The win polished off an unbeaten A Conference season for coach Traci Davis' Grizzlies (18-1-1).

The defense of goalie Emily Cain, Ana Heinrich, Christine Knauss, Bayley Mullan and Megan Mullan notched its 18th shutout of the season.

They allowed only one goal to an A Conference opponent and only four goals all season.

Yesterday, the Cavaliers (14-7-1) struggled just to get the ball into Garrison Forest's circle. The Grizzlies held Spalding without a shot for the first 43 minutes. Cain never touched the ball and backup keeper Kristen Hessler saved one shot with six minutes to go.

"I think [the title] is a lot better this year," said Cailie Murphy, who played a terrific midfield game for the Grizzlies. "We were a lot more intense. We wanted it so much more this year. We worked so hard and pulled it off. It was our best game yet."

Late in the first half, Blue added a third goal and, with nine minutes left in the game, Alex Goldstein pushed the lead to 4-0.

"They're such a great team in passing," Cavaliers senior Rachel Hannon said. "They really have their game plan set out - mostly crossing the field and they work in threes - and we tried hard to cut off their lanes, but in the first half, we couldn't."

The Cavaliers, who fell to Garrison Forest, 2-0, in last year's final, got eight saves from Ciarra Delost.

In the B Conference final, McDonogh's Kim Hilson wasn't meant to take the shot that turned into the game-winner as the Eagles (18-1) repeated as champions, 1-0, over Mount de Sales.

The junior's goal off a pass from Amanda Kimbers came on a penalty corner late in the first half.

"It wasn't supposed to be my shot," Hilson said, "but it came to me and then, nobody was there, so I just took it. I was supposed to dump it to one of my teammates."

With four minutes left in the second half, goalkeeper Katie Marlatt saved a penalty stroke to keep the game close for the Sailors (13-5-3).

In the C Conference, Kelly Ward scored with four seconds left to lift Mercy over the defending champion Institute of Notre Dame, 1-0. It was the third title in four years for the Magic (17-0-2).

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