Sophomore goalie Kate Brocato made 13 saves and classmate Kennedy Scott-Lynch had three goals to lead Garrison Forest to its first conference win in nearly two years.
The 10-7 victory over host Mount de Sales on Friday evening was the Grizzlies first victory in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference since they defeated Maryvale Prep, 15-10, on April 24, 2014.
The victory over the Sailors ended a 14-game losing streak in the conference and improved their league record to 1-2 and overall mark to 3-2.
“I’m really excited,” Garrison Forest coach Lindsay Teeters said. “The mentality this year is different and we are really coming together as a group and the chemistry is propelling us to compete in the A Conference.”
Brocato, who made 10 saves in the first half, when the Sailors outshot the Grizzlies 19-8, was equally excited.
“We had a rough game on Wednesday, but we talked about it and we have the mindset we want to do really well,” said Brocato, referring to an 18-17 loss to Maryvale two days earlier.
Her coach gave her some encouragement after that defeat.
“I told her every game is a new game and she’s got to come out ready and to change her mindset and she did,” Teeters said. “During warm-ups, I could tell that she was ready to play and ready to compete today. She certainly showed that on the field for us.”
On that same Wednesday, Mount de Sales (3-2, 2-1 league) had its biggest win of the season when they defeated Notre Dame Prep 13-9.
“We played a heckuva game against Notre Dame Prep and they are one of the best teams in the state,” Mount de Sales coach Mike Tirocchi said. “What they [Garrison] did to us today, we did to them [NDP] on Wednesday. We made connections. We controlled the draw. We made shots when we had to make shots. Today, it was just the opposite.”
Scott-Lynch got the scoring started early, but the Sailors tied it on a goal by Shannon Blee, off the first of three Hannah Ignacio assists.
Five seconds after Scott-Lynch corralled Marina Lazarides’ draw she scored after racing straight to goal.
Brocato kept the momentum on Garrsion’s side when she made consecutive free position shots from Megan Prescott and Mary Blee.
With 17:24 left, Samantha Fiedler’s goal pushed the Grizzlies lead to 3-1.
Grace Bartlinski won Mary Blee’s draw and that led to another assist from Ignacio to Mary Blee to make it 3-2.
Mary Blee tied it on an unassisted tally with 14:01 remaining in the half.
The Sailors attempt to take the lead shortly after the tying score was foiled by Brocato.
She made saves on Becca Boyle, watched Boyle’s free position shot go wide, made a point blank stop of Shannon Blee’s shot and had another save of a shot by Mackenzie Griffith.
“She was a world beater,” Tirocchi said.
She wasn’t done yet.
Lazarides assisted Natalie Ratcliffe and put the Grizzlies up 4-3 with 9:00 left, but Prescott scored the equalizer 49 seconds later.
The Sailors got their first lead of the game when Ignacio assisted Sydney Skalstad and that possession was set up when Boyle drew a charge.
Scott-Lynch tied it at 5-5 with 1:59 left until intermission, but the Sailors looked poised to take the lead after Boyle hustled to win a ground ball off the draw.
That’s when Brocato rose again.
With 30 seconds left, she stopped Prescott’s free position shot, but the rebound came right back to Prescott and Brocato stopped that open look again.
“They tell us as goalies just to always watch the ball and to keep our cool, so I just did what I always do and just have a clear mindset, watch the ball and do whatever I can to stop the ball,” Brocato said.
She also got some help.
Boyle’s shot early in the second half was one of three Sailor salvos that caromed off the pipe.
“We had three pipes and two missed shots over the goal,” Tirocchi said.
The Grizzlies also dominated time of possession, thanks to their hard work on ground balls and winning the draws.
After the Sailors won the first two draws in the second half, the Grizzlies won five of the final six.
“I do think the 50/50 balls, especially in the second half, were a difference maker for us,” Teeters said.
Garrison’s Fiedler gave them a 6-5 lead with 22:18 remaining, but Ignacio assisted Mary Blee to tie it again.
Fiedler assisted Lazarides for a 7-6 lead with 18:42 left and the Grizzlies never trailed again.
Goals by Eva King, Olivia Sokol and Anna Bennett pushed the lead to 10-6 and Griffith’s goal off Prescott’s feed was too late for the Sailors.
“They played well and what they did was they executed,” Tirocchi said.
They also held Ignacio, who will play at Marquette University, to one goal and three assists.
“She’s our go-to player,” said Tirocchi, noting she scored 12 goals and had 13 assists in the first three games this season.
“We ended up really face guarding her and I think that’s what gave us the win today,” Brocato said.
Teeters hopes it is a sign of things to come.
“We are still a young team and we are still going to keep growing and your past always haunts you, but we are trying to work through that, especially in our first halves,” said Teeters, whose squad trailed Maryvale by eight at halftime before losing 18-17.
Next up for both teams is McDonogh, who has won the past seven IAAM titles.
Mount de Sales plays at McDonogh on April 4 and Garrison Forest hosts McDonogh on April 6.