Garrison Forest beats McDonogh for IAAM 'A' field hockey title

Grizzlies complete undefeated season with 3-0 win over Eages

November 06, 2011|By Craig Clary, Catonsville Times

Garrison Forest completed an unbeaten season in conference play with a 3-0 triumph over McDonogh in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game at Goucher College on Sunday afternoon.

The No. 3 Grizzlies (18-1-2, 11-0-2 IAAM) got a first-half goal from Erica Marshall and second-half scores from Geagy Pritchard and Brooke Adler, leading them past the No. 14 Eagles (13-5, 8-4) to their second straight title.

The Grizzlies also got great work from goalies Kendall Kuntz and Ali Flax.

Kuntz played the first half, but sat out the second half after she was hit in the head.

Flax, a senior midfielder, had never played goalie before her senior year, but when Kuntz was injured before the season, she took over the position.

Kuntz returned for the final two games and playoffs, before Flax was called on again against McDonogh.

"I was very nervous, but my defense was exceptional at the end of the season and they stepped up knowing I'm not a real goalie, so they stepped up again today and they were really pumped about it," Flax said.

That defense included Merritt Davis, Claire Forbes, Claire Schuler and Garland Mooney.

That defense was tested early in the second half on a shot on goal by McDonogh's Megan Whittle.

Flax made another save on a shot by Danielle Grassi before her counterpart, McDonogh goalie Emma Warden, made one of three outstanding kick saves in the second half.

"[Warden] had a couple of tremendous saves," Garrison Forest coach Traci Davis said.

But twice, after penalty corners in the second half, the Grizzlies solved the Eagles' defense.

Senior Lauren Cover took the free hits both times.

Forbes assisted Pritchard with 17:25 left in the second half and Mooney assisted Adler with 8:14 remaining.

"We started out strong on [penalty corners] and then kind of hit a lull, but we've come back alive a little bit in postseason play," Davis said.

B Conference: Mount de Sales 1, Maryvale Prep 0

Mount de Sales celebrated its first-ever conference title in field hockey thanks to stonewall defense, relentless midfield play and a timely goal by Amanda Ignacio in the IAAM B Conference championship game at Goucher.

The Sailors (16-4-1, 10-2-1 league) handed the Lions (14-4, 11-1) their first conference loss of the season.

"Everybody on this team plays offense and defense very well and that's how you win championships," Mount de Sales coach Mary Gentner said.

Ignacio scored the goal when she drilled home a pass from Caroline Butler 6:13 into the contest.

The rest of the game was survival of the penalty corners and the Sailors responded by holding the Lions scoreless on 18 corners overall, including six in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

"We all worked so hard on defending the corner and we did that today and got the job done," said goalie Eve Lukowski, who got strong support on the corners from Caroline O'Ferrall, Lauren Hiltz, Courtney Geier and Butler.

Maryvale created several opportunities, thanks to strong midfield play from Samantha Darcangelo, Maggie Fuggi and forward Miranda Ibello, but the Sailors countered with outstanding defense from midfielders Kayley Jones, Ashley Lesniewski and Leah DiGianomenico, and forward Julianna Shearer.

"That was the best defensive game [Shearer] has ever played," said Gentner of the team's leading scorer. "And, [Jones and Butler] just hold that middle and they can get up and back on defense."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.