Five years ago, Oldfields' lacrosse team finished last in the AIS.
Yesterday, Oldfields polished off a complete turnaround with a 9-8 victory over the Institute of Notre Dame for the Association of Independent Schools B Division championship at Garrison Forest.
Nicole Brahim scored the game- AIS B lacrosse final winner with 34 seconds left. Sharon Lincoln gave her a perfect pass and Brahim raced between two wide defenders to place her shot past IND keeper Diane Fales (nine saves).
"I knew that if we were gonna win, it was gonna be right then," said Brahim, who led top-seeded Oldfields (9-2) with four goals and an assist. "Sharon gave me a great pass and it was there."
Lincoln, who had two goals and two assists, also fed Brahim a few minutes earlier to douse an IND rally and tie the game at 8-8.
After falling behind 6-4, the Indians rebounded by outscoring Oldfields, 4-1, to open the second half. Kristen Lewandowski scored her fifth goal of the game to put the Indians back on top, 8-7, with 11:49 left.
With 5:33 left, Amy Hoey scored another IND goal, but it was called back after a stick check.
However, the crushing blow for IND (7-8) came with 2:23 left when Lewandowski was ejected from the game on a dangerous check call, her second yellow card.
"That was the turning point, when Kristen went out," said IND co-coach Suzanne Rossi. "When we lost the goal, we were still in it, but when Kristen went out that meant they could zero in on Debbie Krastel."
By then Krastel, who scored two goals, had already had a tough day, taking a check to the nose late in the second half that forced her to the bench nursing a cut.
In the final 1:20, Krastel's bad luck returned. She moved too soon on a free position, turning the ball over and then was called for a charge on Jody Cowan with 54 seconds to go. Cowan passed the ball to Lincoln, who fed Brahim for the winner.
For coach Beth Franks' Oldfields squad, it was the first AIS tournament title. A boarding school in northern Baltimore County, Oldfields draws students from all over the United States and several foreign countries. Many had never even seen lacrosse before they arrived.
Although three locals -- Brahim, Cowan (two goals) and Laurel Mullen (one goal) -- did most of the scoring, everyone contributed, including midfielders Maria Guttierrez from Colombia, South America and Michiko Tsurumoto of Kanagawa, Japan.