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Patience pays for Garrison Forest, 3-0

As Garrison Forest's field hockey team set up for a penalty corner yesterday with a minute left in the first half, coach Traci Davis asked her manager, "How many is that?"

"Eleven," came the reply.

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"That's OK. This is the one," Davis said.

She was right. The Grizzlies had dominated the half, but failed to score on St. Paul's until Kirby Houck received the corner pass, flicked it to Lauren Sheets in the middle, and Sheets sent it back for the shot and the goal.

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Less than seven minutes into the second half, the No. 9 Grizzlies added goals from Annie Weglicki and Caroline Markowitz to fuel a 3-0 victory over No. 4 St. Paul's in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference contest.

The host Grizzlies (2-1 overall, 1-0 conference), who had an 11-0 edge in corners and outshot the Gators 12-0 in the first half, didn't score until their 12th shot.

"We were just frazzled," said senior midfielder Brittney Williams, "and we were hurrying to get the ball in, but once we became more poised, we were able to score."

Part of the problem was inexperience, said Davis, who has three freshmen and three sophomores in the starting lineup.

"It's early in the season, and we have a lot of practice to do with set pieces that we haven't done," Davis said. "We've done more stickwork and talking about communication on the field and team building, because we're such a new team."

The win enabled the Grizzlies to rebound from a 2-1 loss to then-unranked Dulaney on Saturday in Garrison's tournament.

"After Saturday, we needed a confidence builder, especially for our young players to build that mental toughness," said All-Metro defender Sheets.

The Gators (2-1, 0-1), who were co-champions in the A Conference the past two years, spent most of the first 41 minutes pinned in their defensive end. They finally got a little offense going when Christina Boarman outmaneuvered the Garrison Forest defense in the circle on a corner play, but her shot into the cage soared high and was disallowed.

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Over the next 8:30, St. Paul's managed two more shots, but one sailed wide and Grizzlies goalie Sarah Williams saved the other.

"Garrison was doing a great job of marking up in the midfield," said St. Paul's coach Annie Morse. "A lot of times, teams will let up in the midfield during transition. In the beginning, we had a hard time getting the ball and getting it up to our forwards. Then we just started playing defensively and letting them beat us to the ball."


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