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 field hockey championship game at Goucher College Sunday, Nov. 7.
The no. 3 ranked Grizzlies (18-1-2, 11-0-2) got a first-half goal from Erica Marshall and second-half scores from Geagy Pritchard and Brooke Adler leading them 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 this season, 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.
"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 and Claire Schuler and Garland Mooney.
That defense was tested early in the second half on a shot on goal by McDonogh's Megan Whittle that Flax saved.
Flax made another save on a shot by Danielle Grassi before McDonogh goalie Emma Warden made one of three outstanding kick saves in the second half.
"She (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 Eagle 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 them (penalty corners) and then kind of hit a lull, but we've come back alive a little bit in postseason play," Davis said.