Notre Dame Prep goalie Lucy Lowe calls her teammates "one big family."
The No. 3 Blazers showed that tight-knit bond in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinal Thursday against No. 9 Garrison Forest. Lowe led a lockdown defense that paved the way for a 7-3 victory on a wet, chilly day in Towson.
NDP will meet undefeated and top-ranked McDonogh in the title game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Archbishop Spalding.
"They played great," Lowe said about her defenders. "They were all over the place and kept everyone in line. They were talking the whole time. They just did an awesome job."
Jordan Sabourin, Caitlynn Mossman and Gil Eby scored two goals apiece for NDP (19-2) Lowe finished with six saves and defender Sarah Cooper forced several key turnovers.
Freshman goalie Lexi Coldiron kept Garrison Forest (12-6) within striking distance for much of the game with a masterful performance. Coldiron finished with 11 saves with several coming from close-range. She almost single-handedly prevented the Blazers from pulling away.
"Their goalie was unbelievable," Blazers coach Mac Ford said. "Our goalie was great, too. But their goalie had to save a lot of point-blank shots. If some of those shots go, it's a completely different game."
NDP opened a quick, 2-0 lead on goals by Sabourin and Katie Railey in the opening minutes of the game. From there, the Grizzlies settled down, but had trouble breaking down the Blazers defense.
NDP increased the lead to 4-0 midway through the half on goals by Eby and Mossman. Garrison Forest got on the board when Olivia Sokol scored with 7:31 remaining.
"I thought both teams played with high intensity," Garrison Forest coach Lindsay Teeters said. "Both came out with the goal of going to the championship. I could not be prouder of my team. NDP is so strong. They have so much depth and they showed it today."
The Grizzlies pulled to within 4-3 three minutes into the second half on free-position goals by Brooke Gottlieb and Marina Lazarides. But NDP held them scoreless the rest of the way. The Blazers put the game away on goals by Mossman, Sabourin and Eby over the final 13 minutes.
Notre Dame Prep now must take down McDonogh to earn its first title since 2003. The Eagles won the regular season matchup, 9-4, on April 27.
"I think we gave them a good fight," Lowe said about that first game with McDonogh. "Overall, in that last game, our offense had a little trouble, which I think we fixed. It should be a great game. I'm excited."
Goals: GF — Sokol, Gottlieb, Lazarides; NDP — Sabourin 2, Mossman 2, Eby 2, Railey. Assists: GF — None; NDP — None. Saves: GF — Coldiron 11; NDP — Lowe 6. Half: NDP — 4-1.