The Garrison Forest field hockey team gave its school a birthday present Sunday afternoon when it gift-wrapped a 3-2 overtime win against No. 1-seed Notre Dame Prep for the IAAM A Conference championship.
Brooke Adler, one of 12 sophomores on the Grizzlies, scored twice in the game, including the game-winner with 2:32 left in overtime to secure the victory.
"This one is particularly sweet given this is the school's centennial year," said Garrison Forest coach Traci Davis, whose team won its third title in five years. "We've been having all kinds of activities at the school, including what it means to be a Garrison Forest girl. This is a great big Happy Birthday present."
In the B Conference final, No. 1 seed Glenelg Country School (15-4) used relentless pressure to put a single shot past the John Carroll defense with 15:59 to play in the second half to win, 1-0, and dispatch bad memories of last season's title game.
"When it was over, we talked about how last year when this game ended we were crying because we had lost," said Dragons senior forward Claire McAuliffe, who set up sophomore midfielder Amy Keith for Sunday's game winner. "And this year we were crying, too. But they were tears of joy."
During the regular season Glenelg Country beat John Carroll, 4-1, but the second-seeded Patriots (13-3) were a much more competitive team this time with Ally Kozel, Allison Siegel and Maria Edwards among those holding off the unrelenting Dragons attack.
For Glenelg Country, this was its 14th shutout of the season. On the offensive side the Dragons were happy to have Keith's goal given the play of John Carroll's defense and the loss of their second-leading scorer, senior Sam Weinstein (knee), less than five minutes into the game.
In the A Conference game, third-seeded Garrison Forest (16-2-1) took the early 2-0 lead on goals by Adler and senior Cody Magness, but found NDP to be formidable down the stretch. Blazers senior Kelsey Gahan scored twice off corner opportunities, the second with 3:12 to play to force overtime.
"It's a funny thing, but when it was 2-0 it never felt like a lead," Davis said. "I knew NDP wasn't going to give up and they continued to fight."