The No. 1 Garrison Forest field hockey team faced its toughest opponent of the season Thursday, No. 2 Bryn Mawr; but when the game was over, the result was the same as it has been for more than two years.
Garrison Forest won, 2-0, and in the process stretched its unbeaten streak to 34 straight in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
"I didn't know that," Garrison junior midfielder-forward Bayly Jarrett said after the game in which she scored the first goal. "It's pretty impressive. We're just trying to win each game as they come."
The win improved Garrison Forest's record to 8-0 and Grizzlies goalie Kendall Kuntz made four saves to record her seventh shutout of the season. The stubborn Bryn Mawr Mawrtians, meanwhile, suffered their first loss, dropping to 9-1 this year.
"I had no idea about that streak," Kuntz said. "We don't talk about that. We just know our job — put the ball in the cage and keep winning. This was a big game today and we all felt the nerves. But we knew we could [win] if we kept pushing."
Jarrett's goal came off a corner opportunity with 28:32 left in the second half, when she received the inbound pass from junior midfielder Megan Rossi and then took a big, hard swing that had too much pace on it to be stopped.
About 19 minutes later, after the Grizzlies had withstood a strong attack from the Mawrtians that stretched over more than five minutes, Erica Marshall scored Garrison Forest's second goal.
"It was definitely a hard-fought game," Bryn Mawr forward Molly Danko said. "Garrison played well with a lot of fast ball movement and its defense did a great job. It was a fun game to play in. It's the way a good field hockey game between teams like this should be played."
Garrison Forest didn't argue. Grizzlies co-head-coaches Traci Davis and Leigh McDonald Hall agreed both sides played well.
"It was a very well played, hard running, athletic game," McDonald Hall said.
"It was hard fought from start to finish," Davis added. "Bryn Mawr had the ball in our end for six or seven minutes near the end of the game. They were very fast and we showed defensive courage. They were the toughest team we've played."
Bryn Mawr senior goalie Claire Edelman faced 18 shots and made eight saves while her defense, led by Anabelle Bacon, Stuart Ferrell, Caroline Joy and Sophie Freeman, was relentless in its efforts in front of her.
But Garrison Forest always seemed to have the advantage — always a little faster, a little better positioned, a little stronger stick work. All of which added up to better ball control and persistent pressure.
"We play in layers," Davis said. "Someone always has someone else's back. And if that person flubs, the next person has it."
1Garrison Forest 2, 2Bryn Mawr 0
Goals: GF- Jarrett, Marshall. Assists: GF - Rossi. Saves: GF Kuntz 4. BM Edelman 8. Halftime: 0-0.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun