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McDonogh field hockey keeps coming back to beat Garrison Forest

McDonogh forward Elizabeth George catches up to a loose ball against Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013.
McDonogh forward Elizabeth George catches up to a loose ball against Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

At times, top-ranked McDonogh's visit to No. 3 Garrison Forest Thursday better resembled a heavyweight title fight than a high school field hockey game. Twice, the host Grizzlies delivered big blows to take the lead, and each time, the Eagles quickly counterpunched to pull even.

In overtime, however, McDonogh senior Elizabeth George finally delivered the knockout.

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Following a stop on defense, the speedy senior ran down Allie Weiner's free hit near midfield, then beat the Grizzlies' entire defense downfield before drawing out the goalie and scoring into an empty cage from her right just 38 seconds into sudden-death overtime, giving McDonogh a 3-2 win.

"I just kind of took off with it and made a little dodge around the goalie. I was lucky it didn't go wide," said George, who said she was nervous being so wide open. "I could kind of see the goalie start to come out, which was scary because I was wondering when she's going to slide tackle. So I just tried to time it right and it get it out before she went down."

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The win gave McDonogh (9-0-2 overall, 5-0-2 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) a big leg up in its quest for a regular-season league title and top-seed in the IAAM tournament, which begins next weekend. The Eagles would clinch with a win over Mount de Sales on Tuesday.

Garrison Forest (13-1-1, 6-1), meanwhile, finishes the regular season with another huge game at No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, the defending A Conference champion, on Tuesday, and may very well see McDonogh again in the playoffs. A year ago, the Grizzlies lost to the Eagles in the tournament semifinals.

"Obviously it's disappointing to lose, but we definitely will take some valuable insights from this game and will use them for [Archbishop] Spalding and use them for McDonogh, if we face them again," Grizzlies coach Traci Davis said.

One of those insights might involve what to do about George, who led McDonogh with two goals.

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"George was a lethal weapon to us," Davis said. "That play in overtime was just spectacular."

Garrison Forest took the lead twice in this game, on goals by Kara Frazier and Hailey Mules, but neither time held it for long.

Just 2:45 after Frazier gave her team an early lead, sophomore Emmy Krause answered to tie the game at 1. Then, 1:24 after falling behind early in the second half, the Eagles again pulled even on George's quick move to the goal.

"Keeping them from gaining that momentum was really the key to how we stayed in the game," McDonogh coach Halyna Fried said. "Scoring after they scored within a couple minutes really kept us in the game and kept us positive. I don't think my girls ever got down. They were frustrated, but they came back fighting."

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