Making nine saves in the first half, junior goalie Caroline Federico sent a strong message to kick-start No. 5 Maryvale's 9-7 victory over No. 2 Bryn Mawr in Thursday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals.
The Lions (13-3) will face three-time defending champion and No. 1 McDonogh in the championship Sunday at 3 p.m. at Stevenson University. The Eagles beat No. 6 Notre Dame Prep, 13-2, in the other semifinal.
The defense playing in front Federico — seniors Kaylin Ziemna, Madison Oliver, Falnnery Carney and Justine Lago, junior Julie Doyle and sophomore Lauren Hudson — was just as proficient, limiting dodges from the top and holding the host Mawrtians (15-2) to their second-lowest goal total of the season.
Bryn Mawr shooters also hit the goal pipe four times in the first 25 minutes.
"I give credit to their defense for that," Bryn Mawr co-coach Kim Simons said. "They crash really well and jump you in the 8[-meter arc]. They make it really tough to get good looks inside. They're just play great team defense."
Maryvale's offense wasn't too shabby either, building a 5-0 lead in the first 15 minutes on two goals by senior Carly Ross and one each by seniors Taylor Oliver and Sam Darcangelo and sophomore Elena McWright.
After that, Bryn Mawr pulled All-Metro goalie Molly Wolf in favor of junior backup Ellie DeGarmo. The Lions took a 6-2 halftime advantage and eventually built the lead to 9-3 with 16:40 remaining.
With Wolf back in form in the second half, Bryn Mawr closed on a 4-0 run, but it
wasn't enough against a rival the Mawrtians edged, 12-11, on April 13.
"We were practicing [playing against] their offense all week," said Federico, who recovered from an injured knee to make 11 saves in a 13-10 quarterfinal win over St. Paul's on Tuesday. "Their whole offense is strong."
No practice could replicate Federico's two-save sequence in the final seconds of the first half when she turned away one shot and then stuffed Matz, who alertly snared the rebound, on the doorstep to keep the 6-2 lead intact.
No. 5 Maryvale 9, No. 2 Bryn Mawr 7
Goals: M—Ross 3, Darcangelo 2, T. Oliver, Tizard, McWright, Ibello; BM – Bowling 2, Snouffer 2, Matz 2, Dunbar.
Assists: M—Aiello 3, Bochniak 2, Hesselbein, Tizard; BM— Dunbar 2, Snouffer.
Saves: M – Federico 13; BM – Wolf 5.
Half: M 6-2