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Medvetz's OT goal lifts No. 1 Notre Dame Prep over No. 8 Spalding in IAAM 'A' field hockey semis

Notre Dame Prep sophomore forward Meredith Medvetz had a difficult time describing the added intensity that came with the No. 1 Blazers' field hockey playoff opener Wednesday.

When their Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinal against No. 8 Archbishop Spalding went into overtime, the pressure was cranked up even higher.

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Despite that, Medvetz stayed poised when she received a pass in close and scored to send Notre Dame Prep to Sunday's championship game with a 2-1 win over the Cavaliers.

The goal, off a pass from senior Sam Nason, came with 4:01 left in the first seven-on-seven 10-minute overtime, and Medvetz was under a happy pile of Blazers a few seconds later.

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On Sunday, Notre Dame Prep, now 17-0, will try to complete a perfect season and win its first IAAM A championship when it meets Garrison Forest — a 3-0 winner over defending champ McDonogh in the other semifinal Wednesday. Game time is 4 p.m. at Stevenson.

"Oh my God, that was a crazy game," said Medvetz, who has seven goals and 17 assists this season.

"I think it was a great team effort and everyone was hustling their butts off. Before the game, we talked about how we needed to put all our effort into the game. We needed to pass, to do the simple things and it just came down to the end and we were lucky."

The teams met one week earlier in the regular-season finale and the Cavaliers (10-6-1) were able to climb out of a 2-0 first-half deficit before falling, 3-2.

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Despite the loss, it gave them confidence they could stay with the Blazers, who went into the game outscoring their 16 opponents a combined 72-6.

Both teams had scoring chances throughout regulation in an evenly played game before the Blazers got a goal from Nason with 7:50 to play.

But just like in the regular-season game, the Cavaliers proved resilient with even less time to recover, tying the game on a goal from Payton Kenney with 5:43 left.

The Blazers were awarded a penalty corner as time expired and ended up with five in a row before Spalding cleared the ball — Cavaliers goalie Peri Crofton making a sharp save on one of the chances — before the game went into overtime.

After the Blazers successfully defended a penalty corner, they took off up the field with Nason making the final pass to Medvetz for the winning goal.

"Extreme excitement — it's a great thing," Medvetz said. "I'm very proud to be on a team this great. Sam Nason had the beautiful pass up and, yeah."

Spalding coach Leslee Brady applauded her team's performance while giving the Blazers their due.

"Our effort was amazing today. All you can ask for as a coach is for your team come to play and we came to play," she said. "We played great both halves and taking this team to overtime was just awesome. I couldn't be prouder of my team because they did a great job."

Goals: S — Kenney; NDP – Nason, Medvetz. Assists: S — Malamphy; NDP — P. Friedman, Nason. Saves: S — Crofton 7; NDP — Dennis. Half: 0-0

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