More than a month after losing to Garrison Forest by three goals, the Severn Admirals came into yesterday's playoff rematch a vastly improved team.
On this day, however, the host Grizzlies were still good enough.
Sophomore Cantey Boyd scored with 10 minutes, 21 seconds to play, and the Grizzlies' defense took care of the rest as the defending AIS champions held on for a 1-0 win.
No. 9 Garrison Forest (7-0-5) advances to tomorrow's 2 p.m. championship game at St. Paul's School for Girls, where they will shoot for their fifth title in the last 12 years against St. Paul's, a team they tied earlier this season.
The Gizzlies are now unbeaten in 26 straight games, and have allowed just six goals in the last two years.
In the early going yesterday, however, it was a struggle.
After nearly falling behind several times in the first half, the Grizzlies regrouped after halftime to take control of the game.
"We started off aggressively, but then I think our legs caught up with us from Wednesday's game [a 2-0 win over McDonogh], and we were a little slower getting back," said Garrison Forest coach Micul Ann Morse.
"At halftime, we talked about coming out harder and more determined. We had to really go after it."
The Admirals (6-6-2), who took 10 penalty corners in the second half, kept pressure on the goal for the final four minutes, coming within inches of tying the game when Bess Freedlander's shot rolled just wide with 3:26 left.
Severn coach Renie Sutiropoulos said the Grizzlies' aggressive defense made it difficult for her team to execute its game plan.
"We wanted to get the ball right and use our ride sides as much as possible," said Sutiropoulos. "They played that very well."
Nonetheless, she also was pleased with her team's strong showing, especially after getting blown out, 3-0, in the first meeting.
"This was an entirely different game than last time," said the Admirals coach. "We improved a great deal. We only lose four seniors so I think we'll be back here next year."
* St. Paul's 1, Bryn Mawr 0: The host No. 8 Gators (11-0-4) needed a shootout to beat last year's runner-up and No. 5 Bryn Mawr (8-1-4) in an A Division tournament semifinal clash of unbeaten teams. Sarah Oglesby, Libby Hoyle and Hilary Polk-Williams all scored in the shootout while goalie Gretchen Goldberg cleared the ball away from three of Bryn Mawr's five shooters to preserve a 3-2 edge in the shootout.
* Oldfields 3, Seton Keough 0: Nicole Root, Kathryn Allen and Annie Finney each scored a goal as Oldfields (2-10-2) defeated host Seton Keough in an AIS B Division first-round game to advance to today's semifinal at Glenelg Country at 3:15 p.m. John Carroll plays at Lutheran at 3:15 p.m. in the other semifinal.