Unofficially, the playoffs began, and ended, yesterday for Archbishop Spalding's field hockey team.
Since the Cavaliers are an independent team, they don't have a postseason tournament. So, yester- Field hockey
day's 2-0 season-ending win over host Annapolis would have to suffice.
"This was a big mental game for us," said Spalding coach Mary Pat Bozel.
That's especially true considering that Spalding (8-4-2) was coming off the low point of its year -- a 3-1 loss to winless Meade.
"It's been a real nice season for us. It's too bad we gagged against Meade," Bozel said.
"It's a mental thing with the girls at Spalding. They have learned this year that they've got to go out and play hard against anybody to win. Unfortunately, with Meade, I don't think they thought that."
The Cavaliers were ready against Annapolis.
Lori Grimes scored her seventh goal of the season at 5 minutes, 50 seconds of the opening half. The senior link drove a shot from 10 yards out that went through the legs of Annapolis keeper Kristin Butler.
Katie O'Brien passed to sophomore Anne Mattison for an insurance goal with 2:50 left in the game. It was Spalding's only shot of the second half, and Mattison's only goal of the year.
"For her to clinch the game was quite a coup for us," said Bozel, a former assistant at Annapolis who took over Spalding's program three years ago.
The loss didn't affect Annapolis' standing in the Class 4A Region III playoffs. The Panthers (8-3-1) are the second seed and will play host to No. 3 Old Mill on Monday.
"I still think I have a good team and I still think we're going to go strong in the playoffs," said Annapolis coach Tammy Janoskie.
"I thought we could have won today. We just weren't gelling together stick to stick, and there was a communication breakdown. That's what happened on the fast breaks defensively. We had several good scoring chances and missed out on those chances."
The Panthers nearly tied the game with about five minutes left but Spalding goalie Angie Frazetti made a kick save to deny Annapolis' Shannon Cordell. The Panthers never threatened again, as Spalding posted its eighth shutout of the year.
Since Spalding had won only seven games combined in the past two years, its season already was a success.
"This is our senior year," Grimes said, "and it just feels so good to win."