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In coach's final game, No. 1 McDonogh field hockey wins IAAM title

McDonogh field hockey coach Halyna Fried is stepping down after this season, and the Eagles said good-bye with a championship on Saturday.

Brindi Griffin scored early in the second half, and goalie Hannah Gizzi and the top-ranked McDonogh defense made that stand up in a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Garrison Forest in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game at Stevenson University.

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Knowing that Fried and assistant coach Jan Kunkel planned to leave, the team hoped to come away with its first A Conference title in school history — and did.

"It means so much," Griffin said. "We wanted to win."

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Garrison Forest (17-2-1 and the top conference's seed) certainly had its chances, especially early. Kara Frazier helped the Grizzlies create some opportunities, but they couldn't finish them thanks to Gizzi and the stingy Eagles defense.

The game remained scoreless at the break, and Fried said the coaches told McDonogh (11-0-2, second seed) it needed to play more aggressively in the second half, especially on offense.

"We were defensive in the [first half]," Fried said. "In the second half, they stepped it up."

Griffin put the Eagles in front 3:18 into the half when she deflected a shot by Abby Rockefeller past Garrison Forest goalie Ariyel Yavalar (5 saves). Rockefeller sent a long ball toward the goal from the middle, and Griffin re-directed it into the cage on the left side.

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McDonogh had four consecutive corner hits, which helped the Eagles pressure the Grizzlies quickly, and the goal came after the final one.

"We knew that the left side would be open there," Griffin said. "That's when the momentum really changed to our side."

McDonogh took charge after that, pushing into the box more often and making the Grizzlies work harder on defense. Garrison Forest added pressure in the final 10 minutes and forced Gizzi to make some big plays.

The goalie dove and knocked a loose ball away from Hailey Mules right in front with just under seven minutes left. Gizzi made a similar play with 4:40 left, aggressively kicking a ball away from a few Garrison Forest players in front. She knocked another ball away in the final 40 seconds, and the Grizzlies had a corner hit as time ran out, but couldn't get a shot off.

"We created the opportunities," Garrison Forest coach Traci Davis said. "We just couldn't convert them."

That's why McDonogh gave its coach something to remember in her final game.

"They gave us a nice little present," Fried said with a smile.

B Conference: John Carroll 2, Maryvale 1 (2 OT)

Charlotte Haggerty scored 51 seconds into the second overtime period to give John Carroll a sudden-death IAAM B Conference championship victory over Maryvale on Saturday at Stevenson.

Haggerty took a pass from Chantae Simms and scored while on a fast break to give second-seeded John Carroll (12-2-1) the title. The Patriots' only other B Conference title came when they shared the 2005 crown with Maryvale (14-5-1).

The overtime is played in a 7-on-7 format.

Katie Sullivan gave John Carroll an early lead with her first-half goal before top-seeded Maryvale tied it in the second half. Maya Belin made it 1-1 with her goal about seven minutes into the half.

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