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Field hockey Coach of the Year: Leslee Brady of Spalding

Coach of the year

Leslee Brady

Archbishop Spalding

Not thought of by many as a top contender entering this season, Brady's Cavaliers came together to accomplish a program first — winning the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title.

Despite fielding just five seniors and starting a freshman in goal, Spalding finished 15-1 in the ultra-competitive conference and 21-1 overall, including 13 shutouts. The team capped its season with a 2-1 overtime win against McDonogh in the championship game at Goucher College.

Brady said she knew she had something special from the outset, with a young but experienced and dominating defense and upper-classmen willing to let their younger teammates carry much of the load.

An eye-opener, she said, came during a pre-season "play day," when her team defeated Garrison Forest — then the three-time defending conference champion — 2-0 in a 30-minute scrimmage.

"That gave them the confidence they needed," said Brady, who improved her career record to 198-81-29 in 16 seasons.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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