Despite their winning record, the Bryn Mawr girls have struggled much of this season to put together a full 50 minutes of solid lacrosse. That changed Tuesday at Maryvale.
The No. 6 Mawrtians won most of the draws, worked a patient settled offense and play stifling defense to take a 10-5 victory over the No. 4 Lions in a critical Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game.
"We definitely wanted this win — and a little revenge too for last year," Mawrtians senior Kate Snouffer said, referencing her team's loss to Maryvale in the A Conference semifinals last season. "We just really wanted this one, but we also came out thinking it was like any other game and that we need to win every game no matter who we're playing."
With the victory, the Mawrtians (9-4) hold a share of second place in the A Conference standings with one game left in the regular season. They're tied with St. Paul's, a 13-12 winner at John Carroll on Tuesday, at 8-2 in the conference. Should the regular season end with them tied, the Gators have the tie breaker — their 10-9 win over Bryn Mawr two weeks ago.
Maryvale (9-3, 6-3) dropped to fourth place. Everyone is chasing No. 1 and four-time defending champion McDonogh. With Tuesday's 22-5 win over No. 9 Mount de Sales, the Eagles (16-0, 10-0) locked up the top seed in the tournament, which begins May 2.
Bryn Mawr and Maryvale set the stage early Tuesday for a defensive struggle. Both teams forced several early turnovers with their collapsing defenses in front of the crease. Maryvale All-Metro goalie Caroline Federico made two of her seven saves in the first eight minutes, but the Mawrtians would get too many good looks at the goal for the Johns Hopkins-bound senior to stop them all.
The Mawrtians won 12 of 16 draws and dominated possession throughout the game. Caroline Joy and Molly Danko, who finished with three goals each, gave Bryn Mawr an early 2-0 lead, and the Lions never caught up.
The lead was 5-2 early in the second half before Sydney Hesselbein and Elena McWright scored to bring Maryvale within 5-4 with 18:11 left.
Bryn Mawr goalie Ellie DeGarmo kept the Lions from scoring the tying goal when she stopped Amanda Bochniak's shot in transition. The Mawrtians then converted when Katie Groenke barely controlled a high pass from Georgia Carroll and dumped the ball over Federico's head. Peyton Capute and Danko added quick goals to give the Mawrtians an 8-4 lead with 11:10 left.
Emma Tizard cut it to 8-5 on a feed from Miranda Ibello with 9:45 to go, but the Mawrtians won the next draw and Maryvale coach Jessica Randisi pulled Federico out of the goal to double team the ball. Snouffer and Danko scored empty-net goals in the last two minutes.
"We didn't have a good day," Randisi said. "I don't think we gave 100 percent anywhere except Caroline in the goal. We know how they play and we were ready. We just didn't play our game."
The Mawrtians' defense of Joy, Alex Argo, Eliza Clemens, Lindsey DeMuth, Rachel Park and DeGarmo held the Lions to their lowest offensive output of the season.
"We've been focusing a lot on collapsing as a team," Joy said, "and really just communicating well and not focusing on our individual play, trying to be aware of everything that's going on around us. We did a good job of that and we came up with some key turnovers [by] putting the pressure on."
Goals: BM—Joy 3, Danko 3, Snouffer 2, Groenke, Capute; M—Tizard 2, Bochniak, Hesselbein, McWright. Assists: BM—Carroll 2, Danko, Snouffer; M—Ibello 2, Bochniak. Saves: BM—DeGarmo 9; M—Federico 7. Half: BM, 4-2.